The WWE is loaded with a number of established veterans, any one of whom might be labeled as the “top” vet in the company.
It’s Chris Jericho.
All of the aforementioned Superstars, along with a boatload of others, qualify as “veterans.” A veteran is defined by Merriam-Webster.com as “a person of long experience usually in some occupation or skill.”
But no one embraces his role as a true veteran more than Y2J.
A true veteran is someone who can successfully do whatever it is he’s called upon to do, even if it’s for the betterment of the company rather than himself. That’s exactly what Jericho is doing during his current WWE run.
When Y2J returned to the WWE at The Royal Rumble back in January, he probably didn’t expect to slide into the role he’s in right now—a role that isn’t at the top of the card but rather is in the upper midcard, where he’s working with rising stars.
But hey, that’s what Jericho is able to do better than anybody in the business.
The same guy who once put over Heath Slater (when Slater was a rookie on NXT, nonetheless) and actually lost clean to Evan Bourne on pay-per-view has spent much of his current WWE run working with up-and-comers once again.
Jericho’s first major feud upon his return wasn’t a world title rivalry against someone like Cena, Orton or Sheamus. No, it was a WrestleMania undercard rivalry against a character who had yet to even wrestle a match under that gimmick, Fandango.
How many legends would have actually agreed to do something like that? For example, could you imagine The Rock, Brock Lesnar or Triple H working a program with the likes of Fandango?
Of course not, but Jericho did it. In fact, he actually put Fandango over at WrestleMania 29 in Fandango’s first-ever WWE match (under that character).
That is a true testament to the selflessness of Jericho, who could have thrown a hissy fit over that feud or refused to feud with and/or put Fandango over. Instead, though, he made the most of that rivalry and put on a solid match on the grandest stage of them all.
Now, Y2J is back at it again, feuding with another rising star in Ryback.
Ryback has had all kinds of problems with truly becoming a top star, so it’s really no surprise the WWE has turned to Jericho to try to change that. If there’s any veteran in the company who can work with Ryback and help him get over and perform at a high level, it’s Jericho.
After all, Jericho has been nothing short of phenomenal since his return.
Despite being placed in an upper midcard role when he’s clearly capable of being a main eventer, Y2J has made the absolute most of it, particularly with his performances in the ring.
Aside from Daniel Bryan, there might not be a star currently on the WWE roster who has put on as many good TV matches as Jericho has over the course of 2013.
Jericho has wrestled a number of great TV matches this year, against everyone from Dolph Ziggler to Bryan to Punk to Jack Swagger to Alberto Del Rio to Curtis Axel.
No other veteran in the WWE has been able to even come close to what Jericho’s done in the ring this year.
Triple H only competes on pay-per-view. Ditto for The Undertaker and The Rock. Meanwhile, the likes of Cena, Big Show and other vets simply haven’t had a whole lot of quality TV matches so far in 2013.
It is truly amazing to see what Jericho is able to do in the ring on a consistent basis despite being in his early 40s. Whereas most superstars who are that age seem to have lost a step or two, Jericho really hasn’t.
Other than Bryan, Punk and perhaps Ziggler, no one has been as good as Jericho has been since he returned back in January.
Even though the WWE isn’t putting Y2J into the high-profile role he’s accustomed to being in, that hasn’t stopped him making whatever he’s doing one of the highlights of whatever show he’s on.
There’s a reason so many fans sing the praises of Jericho, and it’s because he continues to earn those praises by being a selfless veteran who does whatever he’s told to do in order to improve the WWE’s long-term future.
There are other veterans in the WWE who may be in higher spots on the card or who may be winning more world titles.
But when it comes to being a true veteran, no one does it better than Y2J.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!
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