You knew it was going to happen — Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho’s on-air alliance would one day come to an end. But few were expecting it to happen during WWE’s “Festival of Friendship” angle, where Jericho decided to honor his friendship with storyline best friend Owens by showering “KO” with a ton of gifts, each more ludicrous than the last. And when it was all over, fans had just seen what many believe is one of the best angles in recent WWE history, if not the best angle in Monday Night RAW‘s 23-year history.
For those who missed this week’s Monday Night RAW, here’s a recap of how the Festival of Friendship played out. One week after Jericho first announced it on the February 6 RAW, “Y2J” showed the WWE Universe just what he meant, dressed even more flashy than usual and entering the ring accompanied by Las Vegas showgirls as he presented a series of gifts to Owens. These gifts included a sculpture, a painting inspired by Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam with Jericho as “Adam” and KO as “God,” a magic show from “Friendship the Magician,” who didn’t pass muster and made Jericho’s “List,” and even the appearance of former WWE jobber Duane Gill, who reprised his Bill Goldberg-parody gimmick Gillberg and got beaten up by Owens for his troubles.
With Kevin Owens getting more and more restless and looking annoyed by the parade of cheesy gifts, Chris Jericho announced his next, and biggest gift of them all — a promise that he would make sure Owens wins his Universal Championship match against Goldberg at Fastlane. He also thanked Kevin for helping make 2016 a great year for him, and all seemed okay between Jeri-KO. That was until Owens said that he had his own gift for Jericho — a new List.
Unfortunately for Chris, it wasn’t a new “List of Jericho,” but rather a “List of KO,” and as WWE explained, Jericho’s name was the only one on the new List. Having had it with the bad gifts and Jericho’s friendship in general, Owens snapped and beat down on “Y2J,” wrecking the gifts and the Festival of Friendship set. To cap it all off, Owens yelled “I hate you!” at Jericho, before ramming him into the “Jeri-Tron” HD television set in the ring. This led to Jericho being taken to a “local medical facility” after the beatdown.
Sportskeeda writes that this is a storyline injury, and fans can likely expect him to be furious at his betrayal at the hands of KO when he makes his return to the ring.
Now that the Festival of Friendship — and Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens’ storyline friendship — is over, fans are raving about what a great angle it was, and how it benefited both men. According to Paste Magazine, this worked for Jericho as it marked what “might have been his best performance” in nearly two decades in WWE.
“Schmaltz often doesn’t mesh well with pro wrestling, but it fits Jericho’s “cool dad” showman persona to a tee.”
Paste was also impressed by how Owens had so brutally laid into Jericho as the breakup angle came about as very reminiscent of how Shawn Michaels had turned on Rockers tag teammate Marty Jannetty in 1991, thereby catapulting him to singles stardom. All in all, the publication saw it as a very emotional angle, a rarity in modern-day WWE storylines.
“Last night Jericho and Owens, already the best thing about RAW, injected what could’ve been a rambling, twenty-minute segment full of bad comedy with more legitimate emotion from across the entire emotional spectrum than WWE has seen in years. They showed us all how great wrestling can be by reminding us of how great wrestling once was.”
On a more succinct note, Cageside Seats called the Festival of Friendship the “arguably, the greatest segment in the history of Monday Night Raw.”
Going forward, it would appear that the dissolution of Jeri-KO may mark the start of Triple H’s newest version of The Authority, a stable that may feature Owens and Samoa Joe as the first two members, as Inquisitr reported earlier today. But while that remains far from confirmed, what seems agreed upon by a lot of fans and wrestling journalist is how impressive the Festival of Friendship angle turned out to be — a comedic segment turned nasty when Kevin Owens finally had enough of Chris Jericho.
[Featured Image by WWE]