Unlike most of Chris Jericho’s WWE returns, his most recent one lasted a lot longer than usual and truly struck a chord with fans. Indeed, the WWE Universe enjoyed watching the veteran wrestler spout off new catchphrases while putting people he doesn’t like on the “List of Jericho.” As Jericho tours with his band Fozzy, he’s been written off television for the meantime. When will he return, and who will he be feuding with next? WWE just may have the answer on its Japanese house show schedule for this summer.
Originally, Jericho’s most recent WWE run was supposed to end right after WrestleMania 33, where he lost his United States Championship to Kevin Owens. WhatCulture wrote that it was only through WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s persuasion that Jericho was convinced to stay a little longer, though it also helped that Jericho’s Fozzy bandmate Rich Ward was busy working on a new album with his other band, Stuck Mojo, at the time “Y2J” was enjoying great success in the wrestling ring last year.
All good things, however, must come to an end, and earlier this month, Jericho was written off SmackDown Live storylines so he could go on tour with Fozzy in May and June.
Still, those looking forward to another Chris Jericho WWE return may get it less than two months from now. According to WrestleZone, Jericho is scheduled for two WWE Live events in Japan early this summer, on June 30 and July 1. These are non-televised WWE “house shows” and not part of the company’s official canon, but this could suggest Y2J’s eventual return to SmackDown Live sometime in July, with the house shows priming him for his reappearance on TV.
As such, the summer of 2017 should be time for the List of Jericho to get updated once again. But who should Chris put on that list as part of his next rivalry?
Earlier this month, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported (c/o Rajah.com) that Chris Jericho’s WWE return will still see him competing on the SmackDown Live brand, where he should resume his feud with Kevin Owens. If you’ll remember, Jericho pulled off a shocker at the Payback pay-per-view, beating Owens for the Universal Championship and getting traded from RAW to SmackDown per stipulation. Eventually, Jericho lost the title back to KO on the next episode of SmackDown, and got injured in storyline following a brutal post-match beatdown from Owens.
As the Inquisitr noted, WWE’s Superstar Shakeup had Jericho and Owens originally ending up on separate brands, and that may have affected the build-up leading to their match at Payback, solid as that match turned out to be. With Jericho’s kayfabe injury making the rivalry feel incomplete, it would stand to reason that a resumption of the Jericho vs. KO feud this summer would finally provide some closure to the fallout between two former “best friends.”
Still, it can also be argued that WWE can offer something different other than a second act for Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho, as the latter’s WWE return may be better served by him putting other people on the List of Jericho. That could mean rivalries against some of SmackDown’s mid-card heels, such as Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, or even surprise WWE Championship contender Jinder Mahal. As Forbes had pointed out that SmackDown Live’s heel roster has been lacking in depth since the Superstar Shakeup, a heel turn for Jericho may also be an option, with or without Kevin Owens as his storyline best friend.
Do you have any ideas for Chris Jericho’s WWE return now that all signs point to him coming back soon after his tour with Fozzy ends, and which SmackDown Live wrestlers should make it to the List of Jericho as his next rival? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.
[Featured Image by WWE]