The WWE Universe was dreading the day that Chris Jericho's run would come to an end, but there's already some good news about his return to WWE programming. Y2J made his return to WWE television before the 2016 Royal Rumble. Originally, his run was meant to last four months after his feud with AJ Styles finished at WrestleMania 32. However, Jericho's run was extended until this week almost a year and a half later.
Chris Jericho shocked the WWE Universe after he defeated Kevin Owens at WWE Payback and became the United States Champion. The fans have been anticipating Jericho's run ending for months, so a title win was a surprise. There was some speculation about his run being extended, but WWE officials revealed their plan during this week's edition of SmackDown. Jericho lost the US Title back to Owens during their rematch.
As expected, Chris Jericho was also written off WWE television after a brutal attack from Kevin Owens. The angle has given Owens more heel heat on SmackDown Live as the US Champion and will carry over into the rivalry with AJ Styles. Now, SmackDown is moving towards WWE Backlash, and Jericho won't be featured on WWE television for an extended period of time, However, how long will he be absent from SmackDown?
Unfortunately, there is no return date for Y2J yet. However, the expectation is that he will be back on WWE television before the end of the year. Jericho will be touring for most of the summer with Fozzy to promote their new album. Most of the known tour dates are through June. On paper, Jericho may be back with WWE in July. It's likely he will take a longer hiatus than that, but he's definitely expected for WWE Summerslam.
Chris Jericho was written off WWE television in a vile way by Kevin Owens, so it isn't out of the question for the rivalry between the two men to continue whenever Y2J returns. Jericho and WWE officials made it clear that he will be featured on SmackDown Live when he comes back. Depending on how much time Jericho is away, a lot can change. The longer that he's off television, the less likely his feud with Owens will continue.
In general, the reception to Chris Jericho's last run has been overwhelmingly positive. "The List of Jericho" was one of the most simple and popular things on WWE programming for several months. It's a testament to Jericho's talent that he could get a clipboard and a pen over with the WWE Universe. He hasn't been this popular in many years, but that forces the question if Chris Jericho has started thinking about retirement.
In the past, Chris Jericho hasn't shown an interest in a retirement match or any kind of "attention seeking" angle for the end of his wrestling career. The WWE Universe would disagree because they feel he deserves a final match and a big sendoff. It seems silly to think that Jericho would be interested in walking away after the run he just had over the past year, but Y2J has made it clear in the past that he would disappear one day.
Jericho has acknowledged that the current roster of WWE Superstars has reinvigorated his passion for the business. There will always be more for Y2J to do with WWE, but it's clear he won't be signing another long-term contract with the company. On paper, that leaves Jericho's future with WWE uncertain. Obviously, he is a busy person, and he only wrestles at this point because he loves it. Eventually, Chris Jericho will have to end his wrestling career. The WWE fans just want him to end it on his own terms and on a career high.
[Featured Image by WWE]