Few men can walk in and out of something as difficult as the violent theater of WWE the way Chris Jericho has recently and still manage to flourish.
As the lead singer of Fozzy and the host of Robot Combat League, Jericho is finding work beyond the ropes. He's a WWE vet who will eventually make the transition from full-time to part-time to retired. While he's here, though, Jericho is one of WWE's most entertaining and most reliable stars.
Need a funny segment? Need the best match of the night? Jericho's got you covered.
At 42 and pulled in several directions, Jericho is still an elite performer.
His charisma throbs from the ring outward. With just the word (baby!), he can ignite a crowd. His athleticism, showmanship and technical acumen help Jericho turn wrestling matches into works of art.
Take a look back at Jericho's recent battle with Jack Swagger on SmackDown.
He moves from hold to hold with impressive smoothness, countering the Patriot Lock with the Walls of Jericho. Jericho dives through the ropes and through the air in spectacular fashion.
Beyond the moves themselves, Jericho is one of WWE's best in terms of composing drama in the ring.
Watch how he staggers about, how pained he looks. He makes it seem as if he's going through a war. In the process, he makes Swagger look fantastic.
That's a big part of Jericho's value at this point.
He can come in and entertain with flashiness and pizazz, but in losing to guys like Swagger, Jericho elevates the younger talent's prestige.
That assistance to the guys below him extends beyond the ring itself.
On Monday's Raw, Jericho delivered Fandango's best moment so far by bantering with him backstage.
Jericho's routine isn't Shakespeare, but it's the kind of consistent entertainment Y2J still brings. Some of the jokes are throwaways, and some of them force one into giggle fits. As a whole, his verbal toying with Fandango is pure fun.
As a bonus, Fandango suddenly seems a lot more relevant involved in a spat with someone of Jericho's stature.
WWE can depend on Jericho to fill several minutes with quality, wrestling or otherwise.
The writers may struggle with how to shift guys around and how to accomplish their narrative goals, but Jericho's a constant, a surefire success every time out.
Without a championship, without a feud, Jericho can be popped into an in-ring encounter and produce a masterwork.
On the Feb. 4 episode of Raw, Jericho battled CM Punk in one of the best matches of the year.
Like Punk, Jericho is a well-rounded workhorse who seemingly extends his list of greatest hits every week. WWE would be wise to utilize Jericho as much as possible while he's still around.
He can make his foes look great while exciting the crowd, telling compelling stories on the mat.
Jericho is WWE's best pinch-hitter right now. Plug him in and watch him hit home runs. "The Best in the World at What He Does" does not disappoint.
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