Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose put on one of the better matches Sunday night in Chicago at Payback. The Lunatic Fringe scored the victory thanks to a modified version of his Dirty Deeds finisher, pinning Jericho clean in their first-ever pay-per-view singles encounter. For those expecting Y2J to exact some measure of retribution, don’t hold your breath, or at least, you may have to wait a while. Monday morning, Wrestling Inc reported that Jericho tweeted the following, leading some to speculate that his current run with WWE had reached its conclusion.
If he is in fact leaving again, this near five-month run has been one of the more satisfactory and memorable stints since Chris Jericho became a part-time act. And if the key to his departures are to always leave the audience wanting more, he may have accomplished that seeing how his feud with Ambrose was probably shorter than most would have hoped for. It is worth noting that Jericho has been rumored and reported to still have a few WWE dates booked on his calendar, including the Japan tour that happens in July. Some other reports indicated that because of the Japan commitment, Chris Jericho would work up through SummerSlam in August.
Adding fuel to the Japan speculation was Jericho’s social-media harassment of Shinsuke Nakamura, WWE’s prized new signing. And the chance still remains that Nakamura still squares off with the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla, but it wouldn’t be televised aside from a spot on the WWE Network.
Jericho re-emerged from his Fozzy tour and podcasting duties in January to announce his intentions of entering the 2016 Royal Rumble. After a mini-feud with (then heels) The New Day, Jericho moved on to a lengthy program with AJ Styles. Styles, himself, debuted at the Rumble, and couldn’t have matched up with a better dance partner for his first significant angle in WWE. The Best in the World at What He Does was very active on social media as their feud progressed, and even hosted Styles on his Talk is Jericho podcast.
The first singles match between AJ Styles and Chris Jericho came the night after the Royal Rumble, which was the catalyst for their rivalry to continue in a match at Fastlane. There was even a brief tease of a tag-team featuring the two crowd favorites, dubbed “Y2AJ.” But that didn’t last long as Jericho turned heel due to the fact that the crowd seemed to favor The Phenomenal One over the WWE veteran. This new dimension would then extend the feud that culminated at WrestleMania. In one of the more surprising outcomes of the evening, Jericho defeated Styles relatively cleanly. Ever the consummate heel, Jericho appeared on Busted Open Radio to bask in his victory and apparent “burial” of Styles (Thanks to Uproxx for the transcription).
“All the stupid idiots are so angry that Jericho beat Styles, Jericho buried Styles. You’re damn right I did. I buried him. I’m gonna bury everybody I work against because nobody can touch me. And everybody who thought AJ Styles was gonna come in, and AJ Styles was going to win, I proved you all wrong. I’ve been listening to the show and you can stop it. All of you can … I’m sick of this. All you guys are mad about it and yet I still won. I will bury everyone from this moment forward.”
This run has been a fascinating glimpse into how Chris Jericho perceives a heel should act this day in age both in and out of the ring. He eventually did meet up with Ambrose in a feud that was originally penciled in for WrestleMania. But due to injuries and other factors, they pushed it back a month. After his match Sunday with Ambrose, Jericho threw a temper tantrum in keeping with the Chris Jericho heel playbook. But keep in mind, this tweet from Jericho is by no means an official conclusion for this particular run, and perhaps we’ll get a further indication on RAW.
[Image via WWE]