Watching Friday Night SmackDown was a big disappointment for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to rant about how Chris Jericho shouldn’t have been the champion cashed in on, because he is my favourite superstar, but quite the opposite. What they did, cashing in on Chris Jericho had serious potential at the start of the night.
Jericho cut a promo which would be interrupted by Edge. Eventually it would end with another, you guessed it, spear. As Edge was walking away from the ring he felt something hit him from behind. It was the Money In The Bank briefcase. Jack Swagger had come running out with the briefcase, ready to cash it in on the World Heavyweight Champion.
He got his match, he got the win and SmackDown had a new World Heavyweight Champion. His name, The All American American, Jack Swagger. At first I was unsatisfied with Jericho’s loss. However that unsatisfaction would later turn in to something different.
When Swagger was giving his acceptance speech, he was interrupted by the man that he had cashed in the Money In The Bank briefcase on, Chris Jericho. Jericho came down with a look on his face like no other. It really got me thinking.
The look on Jericho’s face got my brain flowing with many different thoughts including this one. Jericho was obviously very upset with Swagger and the WWE could use this to their advantage. Right now, Jericho is being booked as a cowardly heel as we all know. A friend pointed out to me that those do not really go too far and despite how much I hate to say it, that’s true.
So I saw this as the opportunity. Break Jericho out of that cowardly heel role, give him a role he can play to success so he can have himself a lengthy title run. Instead of having him with a cowardly heel, you could have turned him into a championship obsessed heel. He obviously wants that World Heavyweight Championship, by the look on his face at the time. So why not use it to your advantage? Have him go into an obsession which will eventually have him regaining the World Heavyweight Championship.
Tonight could have been the beginning of that. I was very disappointed when I saw it wasn’t. Instead the WWE had him play the cowardly heel. He did seem obsessed and cowardly all at the same time which was not good. Then with Edge coming out, I knew it then. My hopes were all gone. Especially after Edge mentioned Jericho being afraid to use his rematch clause on Swagger.
I was in disbelief. Here it was, a great chance to advance Jericho’s character into something more and the WWE wasted it. Edge vs. Chris Jericho for the No. 1 Contendership was booked for next week. I think the best possibility is to have them both wind up as the contender, then the dream of the character evolving could continue.
Let’s face it, despite Jericho’s stellar mic skills it’s boring to see him run away from fights so much of the time. It’s boring to see him jump people in a cowardly way. Don’t get me wrong, jumping a superstar can be used in many different ways, but what they have Chris doing is portrayed as a cowardly assault.
You could have given Y2J a serious make over here.
You could have had him use his rematch clause for the main event later in the evening. Jericho would lose the match and would just lay there in disbelief. Swagger would be standing tall, still champion as Jericho slowly gets to his feet realizing he had lost yet again and that the World Heavyweight Championship still remains with Swagger.
With that Jericho could get this evil look on his face. As Swagger would turn around Jericho would hit him with a Codebreaker. He would then continue the assault on Jack Swagger realizing he really had nothing to loose from this. Edge could even come in for the save. Obviously it would not help as the mad, Chris Jericho would destroy him. SmackDown would end with Chris Jericho standing tall, holding the World Heavyweight Championship while having the expression of a psychopath.
From then you could have continued with your plan. Book Chris Jericho vs. Edge for next week. Have him lose one more time to make him that much more built up with anger and have his obsession go to a whole new level. Have him hunt Teddy Long down with a steel chair threatening to hit him with it if he is not inserted into the title match at the PPV. Edge would come in to try and save Teddy, but Jericho would just turn around, swinging that chair right at Edge having him fall to the ground.
With Teddy seeing what Jericho did to Edge he would have granted him the match at the PPV. Jericho would leave with a somewhat satisfied face, but still mentally insane in so many ways. From there on the path could be however the WWE may please as long as they kept Jericho in this obsession for gold.
Now to me that is a much better character role for Chris Jericho to play than what he has going for him right now. The WWE had the chance to make the switch for the better, but sadly they did not.
They can still go through with it though, this still has potential. Jericho can still end up as a crazed maniac willing to stop at nothing to have the World Heavyweight Championship around his waist again.
It’s times like these that make me wish I was writing the SmackDown! scripts. Sadly, all I can do is sit back on my computer, writing this hoping that by some miracle the WWE creative team stumbles upon this and uses it to redesign, the new and improved heel that could and should be, Chris Jericho!
This article was originally posted on The Sports Dossier under the name "An Opportunity Wasted: How The WWE Screwed Up On SmackDown!" Check out more great pieces from our talented staff of writers.
If you're a writer who thinks they have what it takes to write about NHL, NBA, MLB, MMA, NFL, World Football, Pro Wrestling and more, then apply to TSD. Email me at email@example.com and we'll talk business.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!