WWE is heating up with only one week left until SmackDown goes live and the WWE Draft determines the future of WWE programming for the foreseeable future. Last night’s edition of Monday Night Raw took some big steps in making things a little bit more clear about what WWE programming will be like after the brand extension.
For example, Shane McMahon has been chosen as the Commissioner of SmackDown and Stephanie will be running Raw after WWE Battleground. Both McMahons are going to need to choose a General Manager for each brand, but that isn’t until next week. Much more happened last night on Raw, but there was something missing. More specifically, there was someone missing.
Unfortunately, “The Gift of Jericho” was absent from Raw, so the WWE crowd in Detroit didn’t have the opportunity to drink it in last night. Chris Jericho was announced for a “Highlight Reel” segment at WWE Battleground with special guest Randy Orton, who will be making his return to WWE programming. Despite that, Jericho’s absence has led to a lot of speculation from the WWE Universe about why he wasn’t on Monday Night Raw last night. The answer was revealed earlier this morning.
The expectation is that Jericho will return to WWE television next week for Monday Night Raw, and the first edition of SmackDown live on the USA Network, which will have the WWE Draft. It’s very unlikely that he’ll be missing that, but Jericho may not be wrestling until after WWE Battleground.
It’s possible that Jericho could feud with Randy Orton during the build up to Summerslam, but Orton would need to be medically cleared by WWE doctors to compete, and the rumors aren’t making a strong case for that being the case as of this writing. However, it isn’t out of the question to see Jericho vs. Orton before Summerslam to help The Viper shake off some ring rust before he gets into the ring with Brock Lesnar.
If Y2J is going to be on WWE television for that long before calling it a run, there are many fresh opportunities and feuds for him to explore, especially after the brand extension becomes official. Someone like Jericho is going to become very important for the WWE roster to help get a lot of the young guys over with the WWE Universe.”The Gift of Jericho” could be the gift that continues to give to WWE.
The wonderful thing about having a veteran like him on the roster is he has no problem giving someone else the win, and he can work in almost any division. Jericho could form a tag team with Kevin Owens and chase the WWE Tag Team Championship. If he wanted to feel WWE World Championship gold around his waist one last time, he could do wonders there too.
Chris Jericho has the versatility that most WWE superstars dream about having in their careers. It’s the thing we miss most about him when he is gone. He should rest up while he can now because he’s going to be a major player after the WWE Draft.
[Image via WWE.com]