The WWE Universe has been dreading the end of Chris Jericho’s run with WWE for some time now, but his appearance on Raw this week may have been his last for the foreseeable future. It was announced during his backstage interview that his rematch with Kevin Owens for the United States Title has been set for WWE Payback at the end of the month. However, there’s some speculation that Jericho may be done on WWE TV.
At WrestleMania 33, Chris Jericho lost the match and the U.S. Championship to Kevin Owens. The belief was his run with WWE would be extended through WWE Payback at the end of April. Jericho’s commitments to Fozzy would finally take him away from WWE in May, but he would be able to put over Owens both on the grandest stage of them all and in their rematch. After that, he could return to WWE television down the line.
Originally, his run was meant to last four months from the WWE Royal Rumble PPV through WrestleMania 32 in Dallas. However, Jericho stayed with WWE for the next year, he created “The List of Jericho,” and had one of the best years of his WWE career. Also, Y2J doesn’t like his runs to end with big moments; he prefers to vanish after being written off WWE television. That is what may have happened on Raw this week.
The rematch between Jericho and Owens was announced during the former’s backstage interview, but Y2J didn’t show a lot of emotion about losing the United States Championship at WrestleMania 33. Since he did not show a lot of passion and his rematch was announced before he was attacked by Owens and Samoa Joe, there is some speculation that was WWE’s way of writing Chris Jericho off WWE television for his hiatus.
Nothing has been confirmed, but Chris Jericho was replaced by Finn Balor in the main event of Raw, which could also be a sign of things to come for WWE Payback. There is a good chance that WWE officials booked the night as they did to write Jericho off television but to also set up Balor vs. Owens for the United States Championship at WWE Payback instead of the rematch between Jericho and Owens.
Vince McMahon announced the upcoming “roster shake-up” for next week, which is another indication that Chris Jericho was written off WWE programming. His involvement doesn’t make a lot of sense especially if he’s moved to SmackDown because he’s going to be finished with WWE after April no matter what happens.
In many ways, Chris Jericho being written off WWE television has opened the door for Finn Balor to return to WWE with a huge feud. Since Brock Lesnar has taken the WWE Universal Championship away from Raw for the foreseeable future, the U.S. Title is the richest prize on Raw. Finn Balor returning to feud with Owens for the title is a big push to get after WrestleMania, which means he’ll be taking Jericho’s spot on the roster.
Unfortunately, the belief is Chris Jericho will be unavailable to return to the ring for quite some time. His tour schedule with Fozzy is extensive, and he will likely want some time away from the ring after wrestling for an entire year longer than he intended. It’s possible that Y2J could return to WWE at any time. The odds are that he will return to WWE well before WrestleMania 34, so the WWE Universe will just need to be patient for a while. If the past year was any indication, some of Chris Jericho’s best work may still be in front of him.
[Featured Image by WWE]