On the heels of returning to WWE for the first time in a year, Chris Jericho picked up a huge victory Sunday at Battleground by defeating Bray Wyatt.
WrestlingInc.com broke down how the match ended and highlighted Jericho's most memorable moment:
#WWEBattleground: Y2J wins after hitting a Codebreaker. Wyatt goes out like the proverbial lamb.— WrestlingINC.com (@WrestlingInc) July 21, 2014
#WWEBattleground: Chris Jericho is still bringin' it! Dude just laid out the entire Wyatt family with one fell swoop.— WrestlingINC.com (@WrestlingInc) July 21, 2014
Following his victory, Jericho took to Twitter to share his thoughts:
Robert Littal of Black Sports Online and Justin LaBar of Bleacher Report gave their takes on the match and what it means going forward:
They got to let Bray win some of these matches or all his blabbing will get old #WWEBattleground— Robert Littal (@BlkSportsOnline) July 21, 2014
HUGE COMPLIMENT for Wyatt- announcers to say upset for Jericho to beat him! Good match. High expectations. Maybe too high #WWEBattleground— Justin LaBar (@JustinLaBar) July 21, 2014
Y2J's much anticipated return to the squared circle occurred on the June 30 episode of Raw. Jericho interrupted The Miz only to be confronted and attacked by the Wyatt Family. That set the stage for a rivalry that heated up on pay-per-view.
Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan continued to torment Jericho during the weeks leading up to Battleground, but the veteran refused to back down. In fact, Jericho was downright defiant, as seen in this video following his official in-ring return:
Most fans viewed Jericho as the ideal opponent for an up-and-comer like Wyatt for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Jericho is an absolute pro who will unquestionably do everything possible to help Wyatt along and make him look viable.
Also, while Wyatt is currently one of the best in the business on the mic, the argument can be made that Jericho is one of the best ever. He has gone shot for shot with Wyatt from a promo perspective thus far, and WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley even pointed out that he is capable of advancing the story without speaking:
Despite all of that, some might question whether or not having Jericho get the win at Battleground was the right move. After all, Wyatt is coming off a feud against John Cena in which he lost decisively. That would seem to indicate that Jericho needed the win, but there is a bigger picture to consider.
In order for a Wyatt victory over Jericho to mean something, Y2J has to be established as a true threat. Being a six-time world champion helps in that regard, but Jericho has to win some high-profile matches as well.
Jericho has respectably put over a number of younger Superstars in recent years, but that starts to lose its luster if he doesn't win in his own right. Jericho did come out on the winning end Sunday, and that will ultimately be better for Wyatt in the long run.
This sets the stage for a feud that could potentially last through Night of Champions. Wyatt can now pick up a huge victory at a marquee pay-per-view in SummerSlam and then eventually win the best-of-three series by beating Jericho once again at Night of Champions.
Was having Jericho win at Battleground the right move?
Wyatt winning at SummerSlam and Night of Champions will essentially bury the Battleground loss and render it moot. He may have taken a slight step backward at Battleground, but it was necessary for the greater good.
Wyatt's in-ring work has been maligned as the one thing that could potentially prevent him from becoming an elite Superstar, but Jericho definitely helped him in that regard. They had a great match against each other on NXT last year, and their Battleground encounter was highly entertaining as well.
This angle will help Wyatt and his development when it is all said and done, but Jericho is a huge part of making that a reality. It was refreshing seeing Jericho get a big win while still managing to make his opponent look better in the process.
It can be argued that WWE hasn't always utilized Jericho to the best of his abilities during his recent stints, but what happened at Battleground suggests that WWE Creative is very much in tune with how he can best be an asset to both Wyatt and the company as a whole.
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