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Domkin

The Jericho Situation

Rating: 2 votes, 2.00 average.
The breaking news of Jerichos suspension is both unfortunate for the WWE and sad for us fans. Although the desecration of any nations flag should be considered the most offensive cheap heat a wrestler can get lets put this into a bit of perspective. From the footage I’ve seen of the event Jericho grabs the flag from Punk, crumples it up and then kicks it out of the ring. When you compare that to the evil Iraqi sympathising Sgt.Slaughter burning the American flag in the ring in the early 90s for example it seems minor. The problem lies in the WWE’s current sensitivity to public perception. Ten years ago an improvised incident like this would have been enhanced to get as much heat out of it as possible, nowadays the WWE see it as an embarrassment and a PR nightmare. For this reason they had no choice but to be seen to publicly reprimand Jericho by suspension.

What I hope is that the WWE release a statement that in some way still shows their support for Chris Jericho the performer and disdain for Chris Jericho the character. He is far too good a performer (probably in most peoples top ten list of in ring talent – certainly in mine) and a true ambassador for the business to be effectively retired due to this one off incident. There needs to be more acknowledgement of the fact that it was the character that desecrated the flag and not the performer.
The sensitivity of the WWE to PR situations that upset certain sectors has been very apparent over the past few years. Bryan was sacked and then rehired 6 months later after choking someone with a tie in a Benoit-esque move. And Finlay lost his job after booking The Miz to interrupt the National Anthem, upsetting National Guard representatives.
I appreciate that in order to improve public image and attract a wider audience the WWE has to demonstrate a level of discipline, and I also appreciate that they are looking to expand their ‘Overseas’ tours and can’t afford to upset officials in the prospective countries they are visiting. But I don’t think throwing their performers to the lions is the right answer. An online apology from an out of character Chris Jericho and a donation to a key Brazilian charity could have put this one to bed in my eyes.

So what next for Jericho? Well I’d be surprised to see him return to television before his planned departure for the Fozzy tour in August. The best bet now is to return him in say 6 months with a new (maybe babyface) character. I just genuinely hope that this is not the last stint in the WWE for Chris.

Usual comments, opinions abuse etc welcome and feel free to follow me on Twitter @dmayerl

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Comments

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  1. Darkside Ron Garvin's Avatar
    I say, “too each their own.” The fan introduced a prop, and Jericho treated it as a prop. The problem is that Brazil officials still treat their countries flag as a symbol of national pride. Props to Brazil for that! If it was done in the US, they couldn't have said anything. But it was done in their country and they have every right to hold any foreigner responsible for their actions in their own country. If anything, this is all the more reason for E officials to RESEARCH the laws of the countries they travel to, that way they can warn their talent of potential situations such as this one.

    Yes the fans of the show were not bothered by it... But the fans don't have the power to detain Jericho for something considered a crime. Jericho was lucky that the official on scene were willing to just accept the apology because they had their right to arrest him in their country for breaking one of their laws. I might not agree with them over-reacting to this incident, but Brazil has every right to govern their country how they wish, and I can't hate on them for being so petty (my opinion) over something I personally consider trivial. Not being a dick about it, nor am I saying I agree with them, but these are the facts.
  2. Sahu's Avatar
    I can't hate on them for being so petty (my opinion)
    that is not a petty incident...wrestlers should care for the emotions and laws of the land in which they are touring..if it happens in some country like India or Pakistan (or at least in idnia)...Jericho and the WWE officials are brought to India and forced to attend the courts of law...Both WWE and Jericho should be thankful to Brazil for not doing so...
    Updated 05-25-2012 at 11:21 PM by Sahu
  3. Taneel's Avatar
    Was the part where Jericho kicks the flag was scripted ? If it was, then the suspension is just a storyline and won't mean a lot.
  4. Darkside Ron Garvin's Avatar
    that is not a petty incident...
    I think it is because to me it is entertainment, that’s why I stated that it was my opinion. I see it as the same level of a theater act. If a Brazilian based writer wrote a play that had something along similar lines of things considered offensive to the US (take the same flag act during patriotic times in American History and apply), the play turned out to be a hit, and a Brazilian actor came to the US and carried out the same act on a Broadway stage. If this was the case, there would be no contest that this happened to be something that is looked at as "just part of the show."

    That's why the fans didn't react in a riot, but rather just gave him the cheap heat he was seeking. They understood that it was not meant as a deliberate sign of disrespect for the country, but rather a way to portray the character as someone who “doesn’t care about your country”. If he really didn’t care about the country, Jericho wouldn’t have made every effort to get to that show when dealing with so many issues with flights. The fact that he remained professional and “cared” enough about the countries wrestling fans to deal with the vast headaches of travel, shows his dedication to not only his art, but also to that specific countries fans who respect his form of artistry.

    Remember, even though it may not be practically applied throughout the country, it is still considered a crime in many states to even allow the American flag to touch the soil and proceed to fly it. Hell, in Texas there are some cities that consider it a misdemeanor to spit on the cities sidewalks. The city has EVERY right to apply the law and cite anyone who fails to comply... But would you consider this to be petty in regards to someone who is a traveler and knew not the reaction is would garner, nor the fact that it was a crime in the first place?
  5. ShaunieB's Avatar
    Chris Jericho broke the law in Brazil and had been punished....it really is that simple.

    You can mention incidents with the US flag or the Canadian flag but for those countries it's not illegal to do so in Brazil is it. Jericho and the WWE should've been smarter and more knowledgeable about the culture and laws of the countries they are touring in.
  6. akbar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sahu
    that is not a petty incident...wrestlers should care for the emotions and laws of the land in which they are touring..if it happens in some country like India or Pakistan (or at least in idnia)...Jericho and the WWE officials are brought to India and forced to attend the courts of law...Both WWE and Jericho should be thankful to Brazil for not doing so...
    Is that how the people of India would feel? Or another country with strict laws. The fact is countries like yours or my homeland have governments totally detached from their people. This goes the same for Brazil the fans didn't mind it, they understood the entertainment aspect but of course the government felt the need to show strictness with their rules and arrested Jericho for doing what is a PETTY incident.
  7. Y2JLionsault's Avatar
    I don't get what people want from these performers. Expecting them to be a heel and remain respectful? A heels job is to draw heat. Going to a town or city and trash talking it is what heels have done for years to get more audience involvement. This isn't an incident where some guy is doing it with genuine disdain for the country. This is a performer playing to the crowd. It is absolutely ridiculous. I can't believe anyone can agree with how the situation has been handled. I really can't even begin to explain how ridiculous it is.
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