It's been assumed that Chris Jericho's WWE run is about to come to an end. And while it may seem that Jericho is about to take a hiatus from wrestling to tour with his band Fozzy, new reports suggest that he may be back sooner than expected, with some possible Payback spoilers hinting at when he may be written out of WWE's storylines.
Even at 46-years-old, Chris Jericho is a key part of WWE programming, a grizzled veteran of the business who has been enjoying what could be his most entertaining run with the company in several years. As part of his heel character, he introduced the WWE Universe to the "List of Jericho," a list of the names of people whom he doesn't like, and recent weeks have seen WWE add even more dimensions to Jericho's character and to the whole list in general.
In February, Chris' "best friend" Kevin Owens turned on him by giving him a gift — the "List of KO" — and brutally attacking him after the "Festival of Friendship." And this week's Monday Night RAW saw Jericho, now working as a babyface, do what was once unthinkable — remove Dean Ambrose's name from his list after the "Lunatic Fringe" gifted him with a new jacket. All this has assisted Chris Jericho in having a great WWE run for more than a year, but his commitments as the vocalist of the heavy metal band Fozzy also suggest this run is about to come to an end.
According to the latest issue of the subscriber only Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Chris Jericho's last WWE appearance is scheduled for the May 1 episode of Monday Night RAW. As WrestlingNews.co observed, this might be a WWE Payback spoiler in itself — Jericho is scheduled to face United States Champion Kevin Owens for the title in a rematch of their WrestleMania 33 encounter, which Owens won. The stipulations of that match dictate that Jericho would move to the SmackDown Live brand if he wins the match and the title, but since Chris is scheduled to conclude his WWE run on a Monday Night RAW episode, this could mean he'll be losing the match and remaining on the red brand.
At this point, it's still unsure how WWE plans to write Jericho off and justify his music-related absence from television. But the Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer added some interesting hints that may point to WWE's plans for the veteran grappler and his eventual return to the ring.
"With Jericho, he always keeps it secret as far as when he's planning on returning and how long he'll be gone. One would think with this last run being one of the most fun and successful he's had, he's said it's been his favorite since the 2008-2009 run, that he'll be show up unannounced at some point."
Jericho's website has a complete list of dates for Fozzy's Judas Rising tour, which the band is undertaking as it promotes the upcoming release of their latest single, "Judas." The tour begins on May 5 in Virginia Beach, and it is scheduled to wrap up on June 24 in Seattle. WrestlingNews.co speculated that Chris Jericho's WWE hiatus might last only about a month, but the tour schedule might point to a slightly longer absence should "Y2J" return to WWE right after his musical commitments are completed.
WWE's RAW-exclusive Payback pay-per-view is scheduled to take place on April 30, at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Aside from what could be Chris Jericho's final WWE match in his feud against Kevin Owens, the PPV will include a second inter-brand match, as WWE Champion Randy Orton (SmackDown Live) takes on Bray Wyatt (RAW) in a non-title House of Horrors match.
[Featured Image by WWE]