Chris Jericho's WWE Run Is That of an Unselfish Veteran Superstar

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2013

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Chris Jericho is in the midst of his latest stint in WWE, and to me it’s been fairly successful.  However, this may not be the opinion of some fans out there, because Jericho has not exactly had what you might call a high-profile main event run.  But I believe that has little to do with Jericho’s position in the company and more to do with the fact that he is a very unselfish performer.

For those fans who have not been very happy with what Jericho has been given since he returned to WWE in January, I have to say that I can understand why.  In fact, it makes perfect sense to me.

After all, Jericho is one of the most talented workers that WWE has ever seen—a guy who can get it done on every level.  His ring work is second to none, his mic work is hugely entertaining and his understanding of his character is very apparent.

Basically, Jericho knows who he is and what he has to do to get a reaction.

There’s also the fact that he is an old pro, a veteran of nearly 22 years in the business. During that time, Jericho has done it all and worked some of the biggest names in the industry.

The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels are just some of the top guys Jericho has faced during his career.  He has proved time and again that he not only belongs in the ring with the all-time greats, but that he has become an all-time great himself.

And let’s not forget about the six WWE and World title reigns he has enjoyed in his career. Championships may be unimportant to some fans who perhaps feel that the belts are nothing but meaningless trophies.  But the truth is that if Jericho did not deserve that main event spot and was not capable of handling the pressure that it brings, then he never would have been placed in that position.

So when his fans voice their displeasure over the lack of spotlight that he is getting now, I can see where they’re coming from.  If anyone deserves it and can sell it like no other, it’s definitely Jericho.

But his last World title reign was in 2010.  His last high-profile feud came in 2012 when he feuded with then WWE champion CM Punk.  Since then, Jericho has been in and out of the company.  Yet every time he comes back, he instantly resumes his spot as one of WWE’s top performers.

But instead of recognizing that with a major championship or a renewed main event run, WWE now gives us a Jericho whose win-loss record is not what it used to be.

Again, I understand why some fans are taking issue with how he is being handled now.

But when I really think about it, I have to wonder if any of that even matters to Jericho at this point.  We’re talking about a guy who loves the business, who was born to be an entertainer. Every time he’s on camera, he is right at home.

He is a superstar—a main event performer in every sense of the word.  And when I look at Jericho, I see a guy who looks as though he’s having a blast.

The fact is that he has reached a point that he no longer needs to be “the guy.”  He doesn’t really have to be the WWE or World champion to be important in the eyes of the fans.  All he needs is an opponent and 10 to 20 minutes.

And when that opening bell rings and Jericho goes to work, suddenly championships don’t matter. Because at the end of the match, fans are most likely applauding the performance that Y2J gave and eagerly anticipating his next match.

And that next match now involves a superstar who is likely very happy that Jericho is not typically working the main event these days.

Fandango was hated long before he actually debuted in WWE.  His vignettes were over the top and silly, to put it mildly.  The gimmick looked ridiculous, and fans were heavily debating what they perceived to be a serious lack of creativity on WWE’s part.

But Fandango is beginning to get over.  This is partly thanks to his catchy entrance theme that has fans on their feet “Fandangoing” when it’s played.  And it’s also due to Jericho.

Jericho is taking the role of the veteran leader, the man who works with the younger stars to help get them over.  He understands that his time at the forefront of WWE has come and gone, that it’s not just about him.  And to be honest, that may be just fine with him.

Jericho’s commitments to his band Fozzy are keeping him very busy, and he has traveled the world entertaining rock fans just as he has entertained WWE fans.  

Even if Jericho wanted to become the top dog once again in WWE, he simply would not have the time.  He is doing what he loves to do, and the fact is that merely just being a part of WWE and enjoying himself is likely enough for him.

Jericho is one of the best and most talented WWE superstars that the company has ever known.  His ability and accomplishments are without question, and his desire to entertain fans has never been more evident.  

While he may not be presented as the main event star that we know him to be, Jericho is still doing his part to make the program as entertaining as possible.  He is definitely still on his game in more ways than one.