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A bonus blog - does Chris Jericho really deserve a suspension?

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I know I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last, to blog on this topic. I am also well aware that this isn’t the Attitude Era where anything goes and there are no consequences. The reason I am writing this is because I wanted to make a point about the way in which Jericho has conducted himself since his return and how this is the least offensive of his actions.

For those who don’t already know, Jericho has been suspended for thirty days after denigrating the Brazilian flag by kicking it out of the ring in a promo with CM Punk during a show in Brazil. It doesn’t sound like much, but apparently Brazilian fans have some trouble understanding that what happens in a WWE ring is all in character.

It sounds like an unwavering defence of Jericho’s actions on my part, but I assure you it is not. I understand that Brazilian culture puts the flag on a much higher pedestal than Canada or the UK does, and I get that Jericho deserves to be punished for pulling a standard heel move in the wrong country.

My point actually stems from Jericho’s feud with CM Punk.

All you have to do is look at the nature of that storyline and you can see that throwing a flag out of the ring is a far cry from how sinister Jericho’s heel character is this time around. In the four months that Jericho and Punk had their rivalry, it escalated from the innocent slogan of “best in the world (at what I do)” to the point of Jericho ‘forcing’ Punk to abandon his straight edge lifestyle on screen. On top of this he (albeit in storyline and with Punk’s permission) accused Punk’s sister of being a drug addict and his father of being a recovering alcoholic.

And Jericho gets backlash from Brazilian fans for a flag incident?

Why on earth were there no rally cries from the straight edge community when Jericho broke a faux bottle of Jack Daniels on CM Punk’s skull? And no backlash when Jericho made it more personal than any storyline had been in a great number of years?

It seems to me like WWE has been forced to clamp down on the most minor of behaviour, so long as it doesn’t majorly effect one of their big storylines.

Another similar incident is the use of Randy Orton’s Punt Kick. A move which became known for the fact that it looked awesome and it took opponents out of action (in storyline), and WWE has banned it because it risks causing injury. Whilst WWE is right for banning a move which offers the superstar on the receiving end no defence, does it not mean that Undertaker’s Tombstone Piledriver or Big Show’s WMD would also be banned? One botched move from the superstar delivering the blow or the superstar on the receiving end can cause a major head injury. The only difference with Orton’s Punt is that the move was used in order to take superstars out in the first place. It is the exact move that Jericho left on in his last run with WWE.

The point I’m trying to make is that WWE needs to start picking its battles carefully otherwise they will have no roster to speak of. To suspend Jericho for a minor incident (in my eyes), where I would guess a very small portion of the WWE audience is based, for any amount of time seems ridiculous when you consider the things WWE does on to other nations’ flags whilst in the safe confines of the US.

The French flag, the British flag, and various others have all been victims of WWE’s never-ending quest to be more patriotic to the US flag, but when Jericho makes one error in portraying his heel persona he’s punished for it. I get that WWE has to do something to discipline his actions, but suspensions are usually reserved for the wellness policy. It seems to me that a simple apology on Jericho’s behalf would have been enough to put this issue to bed, but WWE seems to have other methods.

Pick your battles, WWE. That’s my only advice.

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  1. tchocky360's Avatar
    It wasn't the Brazilian fans, it was the police there in attendance. They saw Jericho denigrate the Brazilian flag, which is against the law there.
    This is nothing to do with PG era, this is a simple case of WWE not wanting to offend the Brazilian Gov. on their first trip there.
    In no way can Jericho be blamed, he just did what every heel would, he was just unlucky. The suspension is effectively an enforced holiday, he's not going to get heat from it but WWE wanted to show that they apologise for the law breaking and that there was a punishment for the act.
    The police over-reacted to some showmanship, Jericho just gotta sit it out for a little while is all.

    Jericho apologised so he wouldn't be arrested.
    WWE suspended him to show regret for the incident to the government.
    It's not a big deal.
    Updated 05-29-2012 at 10:09 AM by tchocky360
  2. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    Don't sweat Jericho's suspension. It's all an image thing. He isn't really in trouble, or losing pay, or anything like that. It's all about image. And while what you say is true in regards to worse offenses by WWE superstars, even Jericho himself, WWE is very much into catering to the sensitive new world we live in. They want to do their best to make every activist, sympathiser, and anyone else with any kind of agenda, happy, so they look better.
  3. HaVoC's Avatar
    I don’t think the Brazilian fans have any trouble understanding the characters of the WWE. I believe this is more a case of WWE characters not understanding the laws of some of the countries that they are performing in. It seems you are confusing storylines with reality when you compare the program between Punk and Jericho with this incident, which could have actually landed a performer in a jail cell. The WWE is right in suspending Jericho for numerous reasons, even Jericho understands that.
  4. ShaunieB's Avatar
    What Jericho did to the Brazilian flag IN Brazil is illegal...he broke the law and a suspension followed and, as much as I hate to lost Jericho for 30 days, I have no real issue with the way the WWE handled the situation. This incident should encourage the WWE and their wrestlers to be more mindful of the cultures and laws of the countries they are touring.
  5. dashkatae's Avatar
    The entire suspension is to save face with the Brazilian government. Jericho broke the law and saying "I didn't know that was against the law," doesn't usually stand up as a good defense. He apologized to the fans about it so he didn't go to jail and the WWE suspended him to show that they do care about laws in other countries. It's not a big deal.
  6. LMPunker's Avatar
    not in my eyes but as it has already been said the police saw him do it its against local the guys were just doing their job and were leinientbecause he could have gone to jail it reminds of when daniel bryan got fired choked justin roberts with his tie the difference here is this incident wasnt on world wide television or pay per view and at the time daniel bryan was a nobody(in wwe's eyes) where as here chris jericho is well a living legend 1st ballot hall of famer any way my point is if it wasnt against the law the wwe wouldnt have been "forced" to suspend him and to be fair to jericho he took it better then alot of guys would have
  7. Taneel's Avatar
    What Jericho did, is ILLEGAL and CRIMINAL OFFENSE in Brazil. It is against the Brazilian law. If WWE hadn't done what they did, it would have created a hostility in their relationship with Brazilian government, and you can't piss off the government of the country where you want to do business.
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