It may be some time before we see Chris Jericho on WWE programming as he sets out on a tour with his band, Fozzy.
The WWE had a major loose end to tie off on Tuesday's SmackDown Live episode after Jericho defeated Kevin Owens for the United States championship at Payback on Sunday. Owens would go on to not only defeat Y2J, but brutalize him.
The damage Chris sustained was more than enough to write him off of SmackDown Live until he's ready to go back from rock star to WWE superstar. The duo did something very cool in how they decided to have Jericho sustain his injuries, though.
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Owens has used his powerbomb onto the apron in the past to bring the pain to his opponents in the past, and it would seem like that would have been the perfect opportunity to bring it back. Instead, the beat down of Jericho escalated when Owens hit Y2J with a DDT on the ramp.
KO would continue his heinous attack on Y2J, but it's that little detail - a DDT on the outside - that Owens and Jericho did for a specific reason. The two were paying homage to the feud between Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat.
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Roberts would DDT Steamboat on the concrete to set begin the rivalry, legitimately knocking Ricky out. Jake didn't want to DDT Ricky on the outside, fearing it was too dangerous a maneuver to do without padding. Vince McMahon was adamant, and Steamboat also wanted it to go down that way.
They got their wish, and Jake's worst fears were realized. Steamboat was actually hurt taking the DDT, and Jake was furious about the incident afterward. The match happened nearly 31 years to the Owens-Jericho DDT.
Ricky would be written off following the attack, and that appears to be how Y2J wanted his latest absence to play out. Jericho's a student of wrestling history, according to SES Scoops, and this was a great opportunity to pay homage to two of the greatest ever.
Jericho sold the head injury throughout the match, clearly wanting the audience to know that the DDT had left his ears ringing and vision blurry. Owens' attack didn't stop after the three-count, though, with KO wrapping Jericho's head with a chair and launching him into the ring post.
It was exactly the kind of savage attack that can help put Owens as a heel over and give reason for Jericho to be off camera for an extended period. When Jericho does return, you can bet their feud will be far from over.
Roberts and Steamboat's rivalry continued after the DDT-incident, and there's clearly some unfinished between between Owens and Jericho. It's become one of the most compelling feuds in the WWE, and it's pretty awesome they took a page from WWE history to continuing building it up.
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