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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. Phani "THE ROCK" kaushik's Avatar
    I have read Jericho's book where he wrote how he went to Hawaii with The Rock and performed there. Before the match Rock's cousins offered garlands to Jericho as a sign of respect, but he threw them down on the ring and stepped on them. They might have got offended, Rock might not have 'cause later on they're all together having dinner together. But in the ring, he was a heel character and it was his job to stick to the character. But it was still ok, it wasn't a national flag which is above everything else in a lot of countries across the world.
    Flash forward through all other Jeritrocities in his heel career to his recent feud with Punk where he hit Punk's head with bottle and poured alcohol all over him which was against his straight-edge lifestyle. It was still a lifestyle Punk and many others chose to live. If he were slaughtering animals in the ring, then it would have been a controversy from animal rights activists, but straight-edge lifestyle isn't a law, its only a lifestyle that an individual chooses and it was all part of storyline which Jericho and Punk agreed to do. US, UK, Canadian flags have been disrespected many times in history of WWE as part of storyline because the local laws allowed them to. Same Jericho had to face lot of fire from Indian media when WWE was touring in India 'cause of some remarks he made to a fan. I'm from India and I know it is more about respecting your audience, though Jericho didn't really mean to insult the fans, he was staying in character and thought it works the same way over there as it did in US/Canada. But it doesn't.
    I really admire Jericho for being such a great person & as a wrestler. But what he did in Brazil was against local laws and it has to be met with its consequences. And he did apologise and admit that he was staying in his character for the entertainment of fans, only thing is he took fans for granted. WWE had to suspend him to make sure they can set foot in that place again in the future and to save their face. Enough of my rant now.
  2. Michael Cobb's Avatar
    Yeah the suspension was to save face. I have to believe that Vince thought it was brilliant. It's getting Jericho attention and they can play capitalize off of it. It's getting WWE attention for apologizing and suspending him.

    I believe this is going to hurt Linda though. It won't be long before her opponent puts out a video showing what Jericho did to add on to the long list of incidents they are using against her.
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