The Money in the Bank pay-per-view, while predictable, produced a thrilling chase for the MITB contract. Most notably was the ongoing rivalry between The Authority’s hand-picked Seth Rollins and the “Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose, whose death-defying leaps off the ladders, and back and forth within inches of the sacred briefcase, made this match reminiscent of the older days of wrestling when it wasn’t so scripted. However, by Money in the Bank ending with John Cena collecting his fifteenth WWE World Heavyweight championship, WWE seriously needed to create a reason to keep fans interested.
It was exactly one year ago, the night after Money in the Bank that Chris Jericho left the WWE, but not before putting on a stellar “Match of the Year” candidate performance against the returning Rob Van Dam. Since then, Jericho focused on touring with his rock band Fozzy, writing the third installment of his autobiographical series, and joining the podcast world as the host of Podcast One’s “Talk is Jericho” program that airs twice a week. Most callers on TIJ asked Jericho the obvious, “When will you be back?”
Even though Jerichoholics have been expecting Jericho to return to the WWE, this fourth run is distinct from any of Jericho’s previous unveilings. Consider the “Countdown to the New Millennium” vignettes of 1999, the cryptic binary “Save_Us” codes of 2007, or the uncanny “End of the World” school children of 2011? This time, there were no vignettes, or weeks of subtly hints, it was out of the blue with past TIJ guest The Miz acting as the diversion to Chris Jericho’s return.
It was exciting to see Jericho come back in his now legendary “light-bright” jacket, which we have learned from the podcast costs thousands of dollars, and do what he does best, interrupt people. He’s interrupted The Rock, Randy Orton, and now The Miz. But before Jericho could get too comfortable, Bray Wyatt and his followers interrupted him.
As the announcers said, WWE is a different place from whence Jericho was last there. The Wyatt Family have since made a resounding impression on main stream wrestling fans, and to have Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho go on the trajectory that they are clearly heading towards is something fans want to see. Once Jericho retaliates and the war begins, the WWE–borrowing from the words of Jericho–will never, ever be the same again.
AJ Lee’s return brought about some mixed emotions. While it is amazing that the now Mrs. CM Punk is back on WWE TV, it was off-putting to see the role reversal as Paige was the recipient of the quick title change. Paige had been doing a fantastic job running the Divas division as its champion during AJ’s absence. She had defended her title against Tamina Snuka, Alicia Fox, and Naomi.
But during those three months, WWE paid more emphasis on developing the characters of Paige’s opponents, rather than spending any time developing hers. Paige was not only the youngest Divas champion in history, she was the most promising women’s wrestler to be called up from NXT, and to not actually do more with her seems to be the model in WWE’s first-time champions.
AJ Lee has unquestionably earned her place as one of the greatest talents in the Divas division, and to have her return to take back her mantle as the champion does seem right. She is clearly the apex of what a Diva in the modern-day should be: fierce, athletic, entertaining, and believable. Because, let’s face it, there is nothing worse than pretty girls trying to fight. So what will happen next; will Paige retaliate and confront AJ, or will she be stuck in a purgatory angle with Cameron?
Answer the Question: Are the returns of Chris Jericho and AJ Lee good for business?
[Video] Paige vs AJ Lee – Divas championship.
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About the blogger: I’m an avid fan of pro wrestling and all of its layers of athleticism and entertainment. I also love to read and write, which is why WrestlingTimesX will come across as different from anything else that you read on the web. My mantra on wrestling, in any state, is to love it then, now, and forever.