WWE Payback: Why Chris Jericho Is the Perfect Opponent for CM Punk's Return

David LevinSenior Writer IIMay 28, 2013


One of these days, Paul Heyman is going to write a check one of his associates cannot cash.

But there is no need to worry this team. The check can be cashed, the funds can be handed over and fans will get their money’s worth.

While I thought his newest client, Curtis Axel, would be an ideal opponent for Chris Jericho (and he still may be), it is Heyman’s most successful associate, CM Punk, who will take on Jericho at WWE Payback.

“After Payback, he will never, ever be the same again,” Jericho told Heyman as he two shook hands in the middle of the ring on Raw. It would seem the matchup of the two veterans, who met at WrestleMania 28, is ideal in helping Punk re-establish himself as the WWE’s top heel. It gives Jericho the chance to move past Fandango (who should claim the Intercontinental title from Wade Barrett at the event).

This is very much a case of what is old (the series last year helped put Punk over even further) can be new again.

Both Punk and Jericho can make it happen in the ring and in promotional work. I cannot wait to see them joust with microphones in hand. And, of course, we should see Punk as a “guest” on the Highlight Reel (with Heyman by his side, of course).

While the matchup last season left me wanting more (Jericho seemed a bit rusty from time off from the ring), I hope the same thing does not happen to Punk. The rivalry and potential greatness of the feud could be like Randy Savage and Roddy Piper going to war.

Any time you have two competitors like Jericho and Punk, who will battle over who the best wrestler is of all time, you cannot help but wonder if the next match can top the previous one. That is why we get excited for feuds like Punk and John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart and Undertaker taking on Kane.

Anything less and we feel some kind of letdown.

These two wrestlers have the potential and ability to go above and beyond the next match, which should deliver in more ways than one. The winner could (will) catapult himself back into the WWE title picture. Obviously, this will be Punk, who can then channel his energy toward Cena again and reclaiming what he held for over a year.

Jericho, who is brilliant at helping younger talent get over, could focus his energies on Curtis Axel, who really needs a huge (meaning veteran) opponent to get him over for the summer months and future pay-per-views.

In this case, the WWE wins, the fans win and both Punk and Jericho win—no matter whose hand is raised in Chicago.