For years, wrestling fans have grown accustomed to the idea that guys such as John Cena and Randy Orton have been associated with the main event on WWE television whenever present. With John Cena and Randy Orton both taking secondary roles (for them, anyway) on SmackDown, Raw has been left wide open for the picking. New Era stars Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor and Kevin Owens have all taken turns sharing the Monday Night Raw main event spotlight.
It is the last of those names that has been the most refreshing part of Raw’s main event shuffle. We have a WWE Universal Champion who is a heel that is not meant to get cheap heat, strictly be a bully or a henchman, or a puppet for whatever version of the corporate WWE regime happens to be on TV that month. Kevin Owens, as proven in his legendary rivalry with Sami Zayn, is meant to be an ego and career-depleting virus. Babyfaces that square up against him run the risk of not only being pinned by a guy who looks like an athletic version of a backup in the event Donnie, Walter, or The Dude can’t roll, but they have to be the receptors of the inevitable rhetorical tongue-slaying that naturally comes afterwards, a verbal hailstorm that is not beholden to any topic no matter how personal.
Lucky for us, the owner of this black mass of a mouthpiece chose to align himself with a man who has made a career of handing out verbal beat downs: the timeless, hilarious, and recently brooding Chris Jericho.
Jericho cannot be described lately as being the lackey of Kevin Owens, but more so the Paul Heyman to Kevin Owens’ CM Punk, someone who makes the champion’s more-than-adequate shine seem blinding. Raw’s resident verbal wizards, Enzo Amore and Big Cass, have been somewhat silenced as of late, as Owens and Jericho have stolen each and every segment they have been a part of. Kevin Owens is exorbitantly entertaining on his own, but Jericho’s recent Heyman-like role has made the combination of the two champions must-see television.
However, there is a reason why Paul Heyman’s character has been satisfied as being the advocate for world champions, why he is has been perfectly ducky as being the “Voice of the Voice of the Voiceless” and the “1 Behind the 1 in 21-1”: He has never been a six-time world champion, the first ever WWE Undisputed Champion, the man who pinned The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the same night.
An ego such as the one within Chris Jericho is only going to sleep for so long, and this is a notion that is seemingly been lost in the lights blinding the eyes of Kevin Owens since becoming the WWE Universal Champion, as he has allowed his best friend to be Pedigreed by Seth Rollins week-in and week-out. Owens seems to have forgotten who has chosen to take for granted, and Jericho is starting to remember just who he is, something that Owens could never want.
A storm is coming, Mr. Owens, and you are about to make the list.
This is not the same list that has been the headlining punchline on Monday Night Raw for the past month, a list that has been nonsensical and an excuse (a brilliant and hilarious one) to have Jericho and Owens share the stage with Raw’s other leading comedy acts, Enzo & Cass and The New Day.
The list Kevin Owens is about to be on is the same one that found Shawn Michaels going through the obnoxiously expensive Jeritron 5000, his wife receiving a fat lip, Edge’s career being shortened, and CM Punk being pushed to the limits in his prime. When Chris Jericho sets his pompous sights on a victim, no matter the outcome, his target never escapes better for having the experience. Jericho pierces the soul of a man until he gets what he wants.
Thus, it makes perfect sense that he be paired with Kevin Owens.
Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho are both performers custom-built for a personal, epic feud. Just when we all thought that Owens was destined to battle Sami Zayn forever, we have been a blessed with opposition that is his match in the ring, on the microphone, and in the ability to creep into the psyche of all that challenge him.
Owens and Jericho have something truly special brewing.
We have a man reaching to hold on to the spotlight, and a legend slowly realizing that he can still take it back. The outcome is going to find both men newly defined by a feud that is something we never knew we wanted, but something that we now need. This feud will not be about someone trying to reclaim a title, seeking revenge over a treacherous former brother, or an attempt to break down the machine. Rather, the eventual epic showdown between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens will be a feud that is solely about two prideful lions that will not let the other escape alive with hardly a career left to salvage.