He is "the best in the world at what he does", its a great line but more importantly its a great fact. I would even go further to say the Chris Jericho is actually the ONLY man in the world that does what he does. Chris Jericho, better than anyone else I have seen, floats perfectly between mid-card and main event without looking out of place in either.
It was put to me recently by a Jericho fan that in 2009 Y2J was underutilised as he was rarely in the main event picture and I responded by saying, quote "I think his brilliance is he does not need to be in WHC (contention) that often to be relevant, entertaining and important. I think the range of roles he plays is his key" and I stand by this comment. In 2009 Chris Jericho was pivotal to; restoring the credibility of the Intercontinental Title with Rey Mysterio, showcasing Ricky Steamboat's magic one more time, strengthening the Tag Team division with Big Show and Edge and actually making Bragging Rights seem at all relevant. Jericho then moved into the Championship picture in time for Wrestlemania.
For my money that is as impressive a resume, if not more so, than just about anyone else on the roster. Furthermore, he has a great skill in making everything he does seem credible and important. This man was the First-Ever Undisputed Champion and yet there was a time last year where his proudest achievement appeared to be his multiple Intercontinental Championship reigns.
So what of others? Don't Rey Mysterio, Big Show and CM Punk float between mid-card and main events? - Yes, but not AS well. Rey Mysterio is simply too small to be taken credibly as a dominant main-event staple, he could not beat everyone on the roster in the way Cena or Undertaker do without it often looking strange. Therefore, although Rey's talents are exceptional enough to deserve regular Main Events, his home is actually in the upper mid-card. The Big Show has the opposite problem, his gimmick of the World's Largest Athlete is demeaned by every mid-card appearance he makes. Finally, the likes of CM Punk simply haven't got the resumes yet to compete with the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla.
Why is it important? - Jericho is now in the stage of his career where putting over the youngsters is a main concern of his. He is currently poised to put over The Miz and The Hart Dynasty to name but a few and it his ability to go to their level in the card without losing his "it" factor which makes him perfect for the role.
The alternative is the situation we have on Raw at the moment, main-event saturation. Many B/R commentators write about the problem that the Raw main-event scene is repetitive, stale and prevent youngsters progressing and there is a reason for this. I argued in my last article (check it out lol) the necessity for the likes of John Cena on the roster, however, Cena, Batista, HHH and co have been built up as so dominant that they wont fit anyway else on the card. The characters and their personal skills simply do not allow for the flexibility in storyline that Jericho achieves.
Why is it always these guys fighting over the title? - Well, they are your tops guys and they have to do something. Can you really see Batista hunting for the US Title as a believable story-line, or Cena and HHH fighting the Colons while Miz takes on Morrison for the WWE Championship. These top guys' characters are simply too powerful to be away from the headlines long enough to allow for the build of the future stars.
So why is Jericho is so great? - For the simple matter that Y2J is the master of what I would like to term "roster mobility". So I suggested in my last article that you need a dominant John Cena, but for every Cena, we importantly need a Jericho!
As always thanks for reading and I look forward to comments and feedback.