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Why Y2J Versus CM Punk Needs to Happen at Wrestlemania 28
Who would you rather see win at Wrestlemania 28?
Should Chris Jericho win the title at the Elimination Chamber?
The Two Self-Proclaimed "Best in the World"
Who is "The Best in the World"?
Rumor has it that two particular superstars will battle it out for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 28. Who are those individuals? Well, they’re none other than CM Punk and Chris Jericho. If that is the case then these men, two of the WWE’s most well-known superstars, could very well be set up for the rivalry of the year. But what would make this rivalry stand out beyond the feuds of Triple H/Undertaker and John Cena/The Rock? The answers to that question could be numerous, but I have pinpointed three main reasons I feel this rivalry could be the big one of 2012 and perhaps steal the show at Wrestlemania 28.
Fans Love to Love Punk, Love to Hate Jericho
The recipe to a great feud that will undoubtedly get over with the fans includes two individuals that have sharp contrasts in fan appeal. People love to watch a “hero” battle it out with a “villain”; it makes for great suspense and is what makes up the very core of mankind’s classic storytelling. This particular case involves just that. CM Punk is a character that brought about a positive revolution to the WWE in 2011. He is a man that has quickly established a cult-like following because of his ability to take on all challenges and to speak his mind against all that is wrong with the current state of the company. Some fans have recently become agitated with the WWE’s obsession with certain superstars and neglect of others who have enormous potential, and CM Punk was the man with enough guts to speak out against this favoritism. Most importantly, his speeches have been effective. Ever since Punk did his infamous sit down in 2011, saying “the WWE would be a better place if Vince McMahon were dead”, a whole new light has been shed on Punk and the WWE as a whole. Many superstars, such as Daniel Bryan, who were living in the shadows of the John Cenas, Randy Ortons, etc. are now at the top of the game, holding championships and getting more air time. Even CM Punk himself is now at the top of the food chain. Fans, especially those who have grown tired of seeing the likes of Cena always being at the top, have been very grateful of Punk’s revolution. Now, instead of seeing the same names in the main event that we’ve seen for the last five years, we’re getting new faces and brand new rivalries. Another important quality of Punk is that fans see him as a lot like themselves. He doesn’t have jacked muscles, he’s not larger than life itself, and he’s just a basic looking guy. He looks like anyone you might see on the street and, hence, just like many of the fans. Basically, he makes fans feel better about themselves because he has shown them that even average-looking people can have enormous success and popularity. People can really get behind a guy that that. Punk has also stood up to the corruption shown by interim RAW GM John Laurinaitis. Johnny L, who fans have despised right from the get go, has constantly been on the scene to make calls that have angered the WWE Universe. And who was the man that stepped up to the vindictive authority figure? None other than CM Punk, and this is where Punk shows off another quality that fans admire: standing up to your boss. It’s no joke that thousands of people across the globe would love nothing more than to get in their boss’ face and tell them how they really feel, and CM Punk has done just that. Not only that, but he’s pretty much the first person to effectively do it since Steve Austin laid the smackdown on Vince McMahon during the Attitude Era. Coupled with Punk’s brazen attitude towards this major authority figure is Punk’s ability to make controversial speeches on almost any given night. It’s no secret that controversy sells, and people love someone who can stir it up by saying things they probably shouldn’t be saying. Now let’s talk about Chris Jericho. He was once upon a time a fan favorite just like Punk, but in recent years he has become one of the most hated, asinine characters the WWE has had to offer. Y2J only cares about one person, and that’s himself. All he does is talk about how great he is and brag about his accolades. Yes it’s true that Punk does the same thing, but he does it in a way that pleases the fans and, unlike with Jericho, the fans actually believe Punk’s assertions. He is just simply more humble about it. Perhaps the biggest thing that Jericho has done recently that has inspired ire among the fans was his “silent treatment” and overall jackass actions for the first couple of weeks after he returned. These shenanigans irritated fans (especially ones like me) to no end. Then, to make it all worse, when Jericho finally did speak he made it clear that he was acting that way to prove to the world that everyone wants to be like him and the fans were like nothing more than sheep. And we thought that maybe, just maybe, he was genuine in his interaction with the fans as he pranced around the arena high-fiving and rallying everyone behind him. Now that we know he was jerking our chains, we hate him even more. His pompous persona further feeds our dislike for him. Like I said, all he talks about is himself and how he is better than everyone else, especially the fans. Punk just claims to be better than every other wrestler (which is a valid argument), and places himself on the same level as the WWE Universe. Not only does Jericho’s mouth aggravate us, but his body language does as well. He walks like someone so high on themself it’s ridiculous. In fact it’s oftentimes more cheesy than anything else. His facial expressions are those that make you just want to smack them right off. For the most part, however, the actions of both superstars are effective. Punk makes for a great character to get behind while Jericho makes for a great character to utterly despise. That means that a big match between the two at the greatest event of them all would be a show-stealer and one for the ages.
Both Men are Evenly Matched and Have Countless Achievements in WWE
CM Punk is a multi-time World Heavyweight Champion and WWE Champion. He is a back-to-back Money in the Bank winner and a former tag team champion, ECW Champion, and Intercontinental Champion. As for Y2J, he was the first Undisputed WWE Champion and has held both the WWE and World Heavyweight titles numerous times. He has held the Intercontinental Championship more times than anyone else and has been a proficient tag team wrestler over the years, holding the tag titles with many different superstars. I think it’s safe to say that both men have accolades. Now let’s look at their physical attributes. Both men are very close in size, which of course makes for an even and believable matchup. Both are also excellent mat wrestlers but also specialize in high-flying, high-impact moves. It’s no secret that both Jericho and Punk have an outstanding ability to put on incredible matches. Punk showed this in his bouts against Cena last year and Jericho has displayed it, most notably, at his Wrestlemania 19 match against Shawn Michaels. So when you put two performers with such an ability in a match against each other, you have a guaranteed classic. Put them in a match at Wrestlemania and you have one for the ages.
CM Punk Versus Chris Jericho is a Fresh Rivalry
One final reason a Wrestlemania match between Punk and Y2J would be great is simply because it is a brand new rivalry. In a time when the WWE seems to wear certain feuds into the ground (Undertaker/Triple H, Big Show/Mark Henry, etc.), this sudden confrontation between Punk and Jericho is a refreshing change. The two men have actually crossed paths before in recent years but have never had a solid rivalry. Now is the time for that war between the two self-proclaimed “best in the world” to happen. In fact, that alone is a good starting point for a showdown between these two men. Both claim to be the best wrestler in the world, so let’s put them in a bitter rivalry that will culminate at the grandest stage of them all to find out who is in fact the better wrestler.
There is a switch that I would like to see happen before Wrestlemania 28. I believe that Chris Jericho should win the WWE Championship, most definitely at the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View. Then fans would have even more of a reason to cheer Punk at Wrestlemania because they’ll want to see the good guy take the prestigious title away from the bad guy. I feel that would be better business than having Punk defend the title. In the Elimination Chamber, it should come down to Punk and Jericho at the end and Jericho should then pin Punk and win the title. This will add more credibility to Y2J in this feud (because he hasn’t done anything impressive enough since his return to show that he still has his mojo) and will give him at least one more run with the big title. Regardless of who has the title going into Wrestlemania, this match should happen and will be one worth watching. It’s a brand new, competitive, and emotional angle, and it could very well be something to keep the WWE alive and well throughout 2012.