Chris Jericho Returns to WWE Programming During Monday Night Raw

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2014

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WWE fans eagerly anticipate the return of Chris Jericho each and every time he takes a leave of absence to focus on his band, and that much was apparent tonight when the WWE Universe went crazy upon the reemergence of Y2J on the June 30 version of Monday Night Raw.

WWE's Twitter welcomed the super-star back:

With The Miz in the ring making his own return, Jericho stole the show and had the crowd in a frenzy as he reached the ring. Then the Wyatts came out and the crowd couldn't contain their excitement as points out: 

Jericho has been a busy man since his last WWE appearance. Not only has he been involved with Fozzy, but he has also had plenty of other side projects to focus on. Jericho will always be viewed as a wrestler first and foremost, however, and it is obvious that he still loves to perform in the WWE.

Y2J hadn't been seen in a WWE ring since the July 19 episode of SmackDown. After losing to Ryback at Money in the Bank, Jericho was attacked by Ryback following an unsuccessful bid for the Intercontinental Championship against Curtis Axel on SmackDown.

That was done to write off Jericho, but the Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla is finally back in the fold. Jericho has always been vocal about not wanting to return unless there is something intriguing on the table for him. It can be argued that his last run was less than ideal, but it certainly had its high points.

His return at Royal Rumble 2013 was fantastic since nobody was expecting him to be involved. Surprise entrants are a huge part of the Royal Rumble, but it is entirely possible that Jericho was the biggest and most pleasant Royal Rumble surprise of all time.

Many hoped that Jericho would put on a repeat performance by entering the 2014 Royal Rumble, but it wasn't meant to be. Jericho was actually in Pittsburgh for a convention on Rumble weekend; however, he dismissed it as a coincidence:

During Jericho's last WWE run, rather than placing him in a premier feud, he entered into a program with Fandango. In typical Jericho fashion, he put Fandango over at WrestleMania in his first career match. Jericho certainly helped Fandango become a phenomenon for a period of time, but it still felt like he was squandered to some degree.

One thing that cannot be denied, however, is the fact that Jericho turned in some of his best in-ring performances in recent memory. His matches against the likes of CM Punk, Rob Van Dam, Antonio Cesaro and a host of others were huge in terms of making Raw and SmackDown entertaining on a weekly basis.

His absence definitely created a void in that regard, so it's easy to understand why fans are so excited to see him back. Even if the creative team ends up failing Jericho once again, he is perfectly capable of putting on a show and making himself relevant.

Y2J has largely been used as someone to elevate younger talent in recent years, and it is definitely possible that he will fill a similar role this time around. At the same time, he is unquestionably skilled and credible enough to be a main event player should the company need him to be.

Even though Jericho only shows up in spurts, he is an ideal Superstar for the WWE. Unlike most part-time wrestlers, he does it all when he returns. That includes wrestling on Raw and SmackDown as well as house shows. Even if he is only on the roster for a couple months, it feels like he is truly a full-time guy when he comes around.

At the age of 43, Jericho is arguably in better shape now than he has been in a very long time. It has shown through when it comes to his in-ring work, and he will undoubtedly be a very valuable asset for WWE moving forward.

Nobody knows except for Jericho when he will hang the boots up for good, so it's paramount that fans enjoy every second of him during his upcoming stint.


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