So after several weeks of promos that someone was coming on the second day of 2012, “Y2J” Chris Jericho made his return on Monday Night Raw, just as the dirtsheets reported the first day the promos aired.
Another promo aired, much like the others, with a strange little schoolboy along with a girl. He said that he comes when she beacons him and he’s coming NOW. The lights in the arena go down. Then someone in a very Hasslehoff-esqe light-up jacket stands on stage and when that familiar music starts playing.
Jericho walks down to the ring, the arena is going nuts. He runs around playing with the fans. He gets in the ring and plays up to them even more. He picks up a mic, looks like he’s going to talk, then drops the mic and continues playing with the fans. With each minute the applause gets less and less until there’s a smattering of boos among the still positive reaction.
Then he leaves.
Afterwards twitter seemed to have two opinions. One was that it was brilliant and Jericho was playing with the fans and they began to realize he was being ironic and insulting, despite still smiling and playing with no real sense of sarcasm. The second, and the boat I was in, was complete confusion.
It was great to see him back and he looked awesome, can’t wait for him to get back in the ring. But he came out, and left. When it was over, it was as if it didn’t even happen. The announcers made no reference of it, we got no storyline from it, all we know is that there was a really long segment where Chris Jericho came back to WWE television, ran around and left.
We got a return on 1/2/12 as promised, but none of the questions raised in those cryptic promos were answered. We don’t know if he’s heel, face or otherwise. We don’t know why he’s back. Who he’s going to go after. Is he in the WWE title picture? We don’t know. Who or what is the “SHE” that the promos said brought him back? We don’t know. We don’t know anything. And the lack of anything in the segment or a followup made it largely unimportant.
Now, some defended the segment saying that all would be explained in the coming weeks. These, of course, are the same dirtsheet writers that said Brodus Clay’s debut was going to be 3 weeks ago. Remember him? The guy they did promo packages for, then had John Lauranitis talking to him on the phone saying “I promise you’ll debut soon.” now they don’t even give us the satisfaction of those segments. It’s like it’s been forgotten.
Remember the big conspiracy that was going on? The story that got Vince McMahon ousted and Triple H put in the COO roll? That brought Kevin Nash in? That Awesome Truth was talking about? The conspiracy they built up for 6 months with no payoff?
Who’s to say they’ll even bother answering these questions? They may just never mention it again and hope people will forget. And that will make the whole buildup to Jericho’s return worthless and he’ll become yet another name on an already crowded roster that has people on it who could do with getting pushed into his spot and others to come up behind them. People who’ve been putting in the work for the last two years while Jericho has been off playing with Fozzy.
The promos may have brought in a good rating for that segment, it may have gotten “Y2J” trending on twitter, but at the end of the segment, will the casual fans that tuned in to see who was the mystery man was come back next week? I don’t think they will. They saw a return of Chris Jericho who came out, said and did nothing, then left.
This is the problem with WWE right now. They’re so concerned with twitter trends and the instant self-gratification, that they completely miss the big picture. The promos got people talking, the segment got people talking…for now. Will they still be talking next week? Will they still be talking by the time Rumble comes around?
I’m not sure.
I don’t think they will.
And the segment may have provided a rating spike and a twitter trend, but that’s not where they get their money. If it doesn’t translate into PPV buys, it largely doesn’t matter.
- Mike Perry