In just one month from today, the cryptic "It Begins" promos will reveal a returning superstar.
Countless fans believe the messages to mean one of two stars: The Undertaker or Chris Jericho.
For The Deadman, it would be a return before WrestleMania and his potential 20th victory at the event. For Jericho, it would be one more run for the only nine-time Intercontinental Champion in WWE history. Conflicting reports and context clues lead many fans, including myself, to believe one thing: The promos are meant for Chris Jericho, but they might not have Y2J as the payoff.
Ever since leaving WWE to pursue other things, Chris Jericho has been begged to return by countless wrestling fans and has commented on the current product via his Twitter account. Jericho had apparently been negotiating with WWE for a while to come back, but he was quoted as saying that he wouldn't come back unless it was a different gimmick than something he had done before. Jericho did not wish to be a conspiracy victim or the savior to the WWE or even the best in the world at what he does. This is certainly a different angle to go with if it is Jericho.
However, nearly three weeks ago, Jericho stated the following on his Twitter account:
Let me get something straight...I will never wrestle for the WWE again. But there is some big news coming up in the world of dance...
Jericho had been a contestant on Dancing With the Stars during his time off, but what more could happen for Jericho? Was it simply a joke? Is Jericho coming back or not?
Around the same time as all of this Jericho negotiating is going on, pictures popped up of The Undertaker. The future Hall of Famer is bald and wearing a hat atop his head. Some believed that he was never coming back, certainly not for just one more match. Regardless, it is that time of the year again when The Undertaker gets amped for his WrestleMania match.
That is why when the first promo came out, fans chose sides to figure out what was correct. The promos were not aired directly on WWE TV, but rather the company used their graphic discussing worldwide trending topics on Twitter. During this time, the box gets snowy and shows a link to a page with a video on it. The page for the first promo was "itbegins2012" and the following was what was said by a child drawing in a notebook.
Come my people and shut thy doors about thee. For a power should come to punish the meek for their inequity. For on the second day of 2012, a familiar force shall arrive to claim what is his. And it will be the end of the world as you know it.
The second promo was posted in the same format under the name "second2012" on the following weekend. More clues came out during this promo, which said this:
The power cometh is a thief in the night to claim what others have taken. Those who are unjust, destruction shall come upon them and they will not escape. The second day of 2012 is coming; and it will be the end of the world as you know it.
There is a lot of religion being looked at from these promos. That makes this a push. The big words are straight from Jericho, but the talk about being a thief in the night is something that would be better to attach The Undertaker to.
This all leads to the same idea that I have had since the promos began.
These promos are airing to hype Jericho's return before Jericho even signs a contract. If Jericho never signs the dotted line, The Undertaker could be getting such a storyline for a return. Basically, WWE has the cart ahead of the horse and is trying to hype the return of a superstar that isn't even signed yet.
If true, this is a gutsy strategy. The promos can't be too specific to Jericho on the off chance things cannot get worked out. There is just enough that you can think it will be him, but also not enough to be absolutely certain of it. As far as his tweet goes, Jericho has thrown breadcrumbs off the trail in the past and it wouldn't seem too ridiculous for him to deny reports before actually appearing on January 2, 2012.
The big words and slightly religious references can be linked to Jericho. His vocabulary has always been rather large and he has called himself a savior for WWE throughout his tenure in the company. There are also lines about coming back to "claim what others have taken," which is something Jericho has been animated about on Twitter. From his finishers to CM Punk claiming to be "Best in the World," Jericho has been angry with just about anything new that resembles something that he has done.
I also applaud WWE for doing something that they have never done before: using social networking sites only to promote a return. If not for a website flashing in the box where WWE shows us what topics are trending worldwide on Twitter, nobody would know about these videos. It is very well done to make it almost secretive. It is a far cry from the countdown to the millennium or breaking the code, the two systems WWE used to bring Jericho back in the past.
In short, do I think it is Chris Jericho in these promos? Yes.
This is a chance for something different for his character, while also sticking to the meat and potatoes of what Jericho is about. Will it end up being him coming out on January 2, 2012? Maybe not. That all comes from the way that negotiations go. However, the more specific that these secret promos get, the more hope that can be expressed.