Chris Jericho has had a long and successful career in wrestling. Having won 30 championships across the 3 biggest wrestling promotions in the 90s, and being able to call himself the first ever WWE Undisputed Champion, he must be a future hall of famer. But is his storied in-ring career coming to an end?
It’s definitely possible. He is 42 in November – by no means young. He has been wrestling consistently for 19 years (not including his hiatuses from WWE, which totalled just over three years). He has already broadened his interests into TV, and has been the lead singer of the ever-growing band Fozzy for 13 years. He certainly would have no trouble adjusting to life without WWE, having already done so twice, and probably wouldn’t have any financial troubles for the rest of his life.
And maybe most importantly, he doesn’t need to do it anymore. Aside from his dedication to the business and the fans, there is no reason for him to risk his health by going out and performing for us every night. All of us – fans and wrestlers alike – have seen too many people end up crippled or dead because of wrestling. It would be a tragedy if that were to happen to someone who didn’t even need it to make a living anymore. Even not going nearly as far as that, Jericho’s smart enough not to ruin his legacy by going on longer than he should. If there comes a time when Jericho could say he’s not performing to the same standard he used to be, I suspect he will be out of there quicker than you could ask why.
Look at him in 2012. He has already failed at so much, but he made Sheamus’ Royal Rumble win that much more credible. He gave Punk’s WWE Title reign not only a similar credibility, but also importance by repeating how much he wanted to take that belt off Punk, and eventually put over Punk as the Best in the World. I’m not denying the quality of matches he has put on, but the fact that his work has been done to get others over smells of someone looking to give something back to the business before they depart for good.
Some may say that he loves performing. He loves getting a reaction out of the fans. He loves being a part of the WWE. I would never deny any of that. But he doesn’t have to wrestle to get that rush. He could be a manager – getting heat (probably) for others while mentoring them, passing on his knowledge of the business. He could fill the role of General Manager. At least he could work out legitimate reasons to be biased, instead of just being angry with a face because he’s a heel.
Moreover, he has said that his focus right now is on his music. Keep in mind he insisted he wasn’t coming back to Raw in January, so take that for what it’s worth. But I still just can’t shake the feeling that after his current run finishes, we will have seen the last of Chris Jericho as a regular in-ring competitor.
I realise that this was written purely on the back of a hunch, and there is no “official” evidence to suggest that this will be the end, but it’s what I truly believe at this moment. Do you disagree? Let me know by commenting below or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org