Sunday night is the WWE Monday Night Raw-exclusive pay-per-view, Pauback, and there is a good chance this is the last appearance for one of the WWE’s most popular and entertaining stars. Chris Jericho battles Kevin Owens for the United States Championship. ESPN reported that after the Payback event, Chris Jericho has two months of touring lined up with his rock band Fozzy and will likely leave the WWE at that time.
This really isn’t a surprise since Chris Jericho has never stuck around for long when he makes his WWE returns. As a matter of fact, Jericho was supposed to leave last year but was having so much fun that he stuck around. The Payback match will finish off his storyline with Kevin Owens, one of the most entertaining of the last year.
Interestingly, even if Chris Jericho wins the match, he will still leave Monday Night Raw since the winner of the match will take the United States Championship to SmackDown Live. While this is called a Monday Night Raw-exclusive pay-per-view, that is not necessarily true.
Both Kevin Owens and Randy Orton, who will battle Bray Wyatt, are on SmackDown Live. However, after the WWE pulled off trades that sent Owens to SmackDown Live and Bray Wyatt to Monday Night Raw, the WWE needed to finish their storylines.
Bray Wyatt had been feuding with Randy Orton and moving Bray to Monday Night Raw prematurely ended their feud. They will fight at Payback in a House of Horrors match, which likely means lots of weapons and possibly magic.
As for Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho, this match is the logical conclusion to a brilliantly built feud. Kevin Owens won the Universal Championship last year and suddenly gravitated to fellow Canadian and veteran WWE superstar Chris Jericho. The two developed a close friendship, calling each other best friends.
Chris Jericho cheated to help Kevin Owens keep his title month after month. Finally, when Jericho accepted a match with Bill Goldberg for Kevin Owens to fight, Owens was finished with the friendship and brutally attacked and beat Chris. Owens then admitted that he was only using Jericho as insurance to hold his title.
Chris Jericho then distracted Kevin Owens to help Bill Goldberg win the WWE Universal Championship. That led to Owens looking for revenge rather than his title rematch and went after Jericho and the United States Championship. Owens won the title at WrestleMania 33.
While that could have been the perfect conclusion to the Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho story, the rematch was needed and that comes at Payback.
Since the new Universal Champion Brock Lesnar is not around and won’t defend his title until July, the WWE needs big names and matches to fill both Payback and Extreme Rules, and for this one, they are including two SmackDown Live stars. That is another reason that the Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho rematch is taking place this Sunday at Payback.
Of course, Chris Jericho is not leaving the WWE for good. He will be back down the line and knowing Chris, he will have a brand new storyline and character to debut when he returns. However, once Payback is over with, Jericho will be out of the WWE once again.
According to Loudwire, Chris Jericho and his band, Fozzy, will head out on their Judas Rising Tour starting on May 5 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. They will play 16 dates in the month of May, including Rocklahoma in Pryor, Oklahoma. That portion of the tour ends on May 27 in San Antonio, Texas, at the River City Rockfest. That will end the first leg of the Fozzy tour, but Chris Jericho said there will be more as they tour in support of their new album.
[Featured Image by WWE]