Much like the main event at Payback last week, the Dean Ambrose/Chris Jericho feud began as a backdrop to those in charge of Monday Night RAW. During the Roman Reigns/AJ Styles match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Shane and Stephanie McMahon restarted things to ensure there’d be a clear winner without count-outs or disqualifications ruining the finish. Meanwhile, this Ambrose/Jericho program began when The Lunatic Fringe interrupted an episode of Jericho’s “Highlight Reel” on RAW.
That interruption generally would have been enough to kick-start the angle, but Ambrose was simply relaying an edict laid down by Shane McMahon that the Highlight Reel was cancelled. In its place would be the “Ambrose Asylum” hosted by Dean Ambrose himself. Eventually, things would get physical, and the Ambrose/Jericho feud was off and running. The two would square off in a singles match at Payback, which saw Ambrose pin Jericho after nearly 20 minutes with a modified version of Dirty Deeds.
Since then, Vince McMahon put both of his children in charge of RAW, which has and inevitably will continue to be a weekly game of cat and mouse and one-upmanship. Shane replaced the “Highlight Reel” with the “Ambrose Asylum.” Stephanie reversed that decision last week by cancelling Dean’s segment (after appearing on it and allowing Ambrose to “ask her anything”) and reinstating Jericho’s talk show. This guaranteed that the feud would continue at least until Extreme Rules.
There was a lot of speculation after Payback that Jericho had come to the end of his current run in WWE and would be taking another customary hiatus. That left many to wonder what Ambrose would be left with seeing as how most of the feuds were largely spoken for, what with the short time frame between pay-per-views. But fortunately for fans of both Ambrose and Jericho, Y2J returned the very next night to extend things at least another three weeks.
So there will be an Ambrose/Jericho rematch at Extreme Rules on May 22 in Newark, New Jersey. But according to the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, a stipulation will be added to that encounter in an effort to spice things up even further. No word on what exactly the stipulation will be, but their program to date makes it debatable as to whether it will wrestling-related or if something else is on the line.
As noted, the “Highlight Reel” and “Ambrose Asylum” have played a large part in the angle, with both shows getting cancelled at one point in favor of the other. The stipulation could be that whoever wins the match gets to continue hosting their show, while the plug gets pulled on the loser’s show for good. This would allow WWE to write Jericho off of television if indeed he is at the end of his current commitment. And with Money in the Bank as the next big pay-per-view on the schedule, that would allow Jericho to seamlessly transition into his next program, which could be the ladder match itself.
The only unusual object that has been used between the two was Ambrose’s plant, “Mitch,” which Jericho smashed over Dean’s head last week. It might be difficult to build a gimmick match solely around that, but the WWE has experimented with wackier ideas in the past. The fact they these two were given 20 minutes at Payback would insinuate that the focus of the match should be on the solid wrestling alone.
Ambrose and Jericho were originally slotted to enter into a WrestleMania feud, but those plans were obviously scrapped. WWE partnered Jericho with Styles for a lengthy run, with Ambrose getting elevated for a match with Brock Lesnar. The seeds for an Ambrose/Jericho rivalry were originally planted back at Night of Champions in September. Y2J joined up with Ambrose and Roman Reigns to even the odds against The Wyatt Family. After the babyfaces lost, Jericho brazenly bumped past Ambrose on his way out of the ring, a subtle start to a feud that would eventually resume some seven months later.
[Image via WWE]