Allow me to preface this argument with the admission that, initially, I loved the idea of Chris Jericho winning the number one contender Elimination Chamber match.
Moreover, it actually seemed that he could be considered a favourite to walk out victorious, especially given his ongoing rivalry with current "Mr Money In The Bank," Dolph Ziggler. However, as we approach one of the most unpredictable chamber matches in recent memory, it has arguably become apparent that Y2J will not be leaving New Orleans as the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship.
According to pwtorch, via wrestlingdata.com, Jericho's inclusion into the chamber "was a last-second decision after WWE pulled Rey Mysterio from the match." While fans have come to terms with the frequent seemingly on-the-fly booking, surely the creative team had a winner, and thus WrestleMania main-eventer in mind when the initial chamber participants were announced.
Perhaps even more crucial to the outcome of tonight's event is the fact that Jericho's band Fozzy are touring Australia from Feb. 23 until March 4, meaning that "The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla" will be absent for two weeks of programming on the road to WrestleMania, something that cannot be afforded to superstars in the world championship, main-event and marquee matches.
Interestingly however, Fozzy appear to be in the United Kingdom at the same time as WWE's "WrestleMania Revenge" tour, with Monday nights notably omitted from their tour calendar. Hopefully, this could indicate that Jericho's current stint in sports-entertainment won't end at the MetLife Stadium on April 7.
Having Jericho in the world heavyweight championship scene for WrestleMania does not make a great deal of sense, given that he is now very much a part-time star and would have little chance of emerging from the "Grandest Stage of 'Em All" with the gold.
How Will Chris Jericho fare tonight?
Indeed, Jericho himself has admitted that he is unlikely to be with the company for lengthy periods of time anymore:
I will keep coming back as long as I feel I’m still working at the highest level that I can. It won’t be for two years, but if I come back to two or so months at a time. Then I can do that, then it gives me the opportunity to do the other projects I have going on as well
Ultimately, while having Jericho back is great for the fans and business alike, he would perhaps be better served in a midcard match this WrestleMania, perhaps even with Dolph Ziggler but without any titles or perhaps the briefcase on the line. Ziggler could retain the briefcase and cash it in the very same night, becoming the first person to do so on the grandest stage of them all.
Skybet and Paddy Power currently have Jericho as the favourite to win the upcoming chamber bout, but due to his part-time contract, upcoming tours with Fozzy and the fact that he took the injured Mysterio's pod, no such outcome will occur tonight.