Chris Jericho is back, everybody.
In a clever angle, WWE had promoted that a former WWE champion who was now a multimedia star would be making his return. It seemed like it was setting up the TV return of The Miz from shooting The Marine 4: Moving Target, but about 90 minutes before Raw started Mike Johnson at PWInsider.com reported that it was Chris Jericho.
When it came time for that segment, The Miz came out dressed like film producer Robert Evans and doing his new gimmick where he acts like he's a big movie star. The promo went on long enough to make you think the Jericho story was planted...and then Jericho came out.
At first it seemed like he brought back his "no talking" gimmick from a few years ago, but when The Miz made fun of him for it, Jericho hit the Codebreaker and said "that felt good."
Then The Wyatt Family came out and ambushed Jericho.
So for the time being, it looks like that's what Jericho is doing. In a follow-up post at PWInsider.com after Raw, Johnson wrote that Jericho is in the mix at least through Night of Champions in September.
When Jericho came back last year, he was badly misused. Entering the Royal Rumble as a surprise was nice, but he was quickly marginalized. Feuding with Fandango and putting him over at WrestleMania in his debut seemed like a perfectly decent idea when Fandango was seemingly being groomed for big things, but that fell apart quickly.
Let's take a look at Jericho's trajectory last year using his entry on the CageMatch.net database. Before WrestleMania 29, he was in the mix with a focused program. After, he's directionless. He had good matches, like CM Punk's return from hiatus at Payback. But more than ever, it felt like he was just a guy, and it made no real difference as to whether or not he was on the card.
That he's presumably feuding with Bray Wyatt now should give us some hope.
WWE is clearly committed to pushing Wyatt as a top guy, as he's being used as the focal point of billboard advertising for a number of upcoming house shows. Wyatt does seem to be destined for a babyface run; the sing-alongs, acknowledgement of the city they're in, and so on are not heel moves.
Still, WWE is short on good heels with a big surplus of babyfaces, so it'll be a while before that happens.
That's where Jericho comes in: Wyatt needs something to do. Daniel Bryan, who seemed like he was inevitably going to renew his feud with Wyatt to get his win back, is injured, possibly long-term. The John Cena feud is over and probably lasted one pay-per-view event too long. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose have their own issues with Seth Rollins and The Authority. Sheamus would be a step down.
Wyatt also felt like an afterthought in his ladder match on Sunday, and that's not good.
This should be the kind of shot in the arm Wyatt needs for now, and it's a good start to Jericho's return. Let's just hope he doesn't fall off a cliff this time.
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