Chris Jericho Is a Strong Babyface Foil for Bray Wyatt

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Chris Jericho Is a Strong Babyface Foil for Bray Wyatt
Matt Sayles/Associated Press

Did you hear those “boring” chants for Bray Wyatt during his exchange with Chris Jericho on Raw?

Twitter did. And the Twitter pitchfork mafia was out for blood:

Of course, there was also this school of thought:

To say Bray Wyatt is boring for cutting creepy, cryptic promos every week is to say The Rolling Stones are boring for playing rock 'n' roll during every tour.

His throaty, metaphor-filled monologues brought him to the dance and will keep him on the floor for years to come.

He’ll never be about easy-to-digest, direct talking points. That’s not his style.

Bray Wyatt forces you to think.

He has the role of Jake Roberts or The Undertaker, one which demands a mysterious way of speaking that sets him apart from the shouting promos geared toward the lowest common denominator.

The hottest segment all night centered around an otherwise commonplace storyline of America vs. Russia. Relatable archetypes like the evil foreigner battling the patriotic American are what make Wyatt unique for being, well, Bray Wyatt.

The belief that he cuts the same promo every week, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, some of his promos get to the point without the use of obscure language.

Take Wyatt’s Money in the Bank promo from Raw on June 16. He vowed to win the WWE World Heavyweight championship:

You ain’t got nothing in this world, man, if you ain't got power. Power, it can be so addicting. You need power. You crave power and I just so happen to think that power—it will be the downfall of all mankind as we know it, man.

Wyatt went on to pledge that "at Money in the Bank, I will stand at the top of this ladder, and I will change the world as it is forever."

With a ladder in the ring and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship swinging in the balance, Wyatt’s message was clear: He intended to be the next WWE World Heavyweight champion.

It was unlike any other Wyatt promo. He had expressed little to no interest in a world championship before then. To understand his goal just took some thinking.

But make no mistake, it’s a good thing that a hot Richmond crowd began to jeer Wyatt. After all, that’s exactly what they’re supposed to do.

The standard wrestling program casts good against evil, and evil almost doesn’t do justice to the Wyatt character.

Much of the negative reaction toward Wyatt (fans were booing loudly after he delivered Sister Abigail to Jericho to close this segment) was juxtaposed against a spirited babyface promo from Jericho.

Jericho cut a nostalgia-filled promo, cooking up a promo filled with pro wrestling comfort food:

I’ve seen Yurple the Clown, I’ve seen naked Mideon, I’ve seen three minute warnings and five second poses. I’ve seen Big Poppa Pump, Big Boss Man, Big Show, Shawn Michaels, Michael Hayes, Lord Alfred Hayes, Lord Tensai, I’ve seen ‘em all, baby!

Jericho shrewdly filled the Richmond Coliseum with glittering generalities of the golden age. Fans would and should be irritated with the solemn sermon from Wyatt that followed.

It’s the type of manipulation that creates a clear picture of babyface vs. heel, thereby eliminating the confusing shades of gray that have defined The Reality Era. Jericho’s promo was loud, happy and sentimental. Wyatt was grim and creepy.

Can you blame Richmond, Virginia, for being afraid of the dark?

In a recent column on the Jericho-Wyatt feud, I suggested the possibility of Jericho turning heel in the face of Wyatt’s surging popularity. I reasoned that Jericho was too creative to just come back and default to Y2J mode.

Surely he’ll reinvent himself again. He needs to do something different, something nobody’s seen before.

But on Monday, thousands in attendance sided with Jericho and chanted “boring” at Bray Wyatt for the first time in his career.

Maybe Jericho is doing something different after all.

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