Chris Jericho is currently away from WWE action and is doing his own thing elsewhere. Along with touring with his band Fozzy, Jericho is hosting a show on Travel Channel and hosting a rock and wrestling cruise. And last but not least, Jericho is wrestling Kenny Omega in New Japan Pro Wrestling in January.
But while Jericho has had a great year, that could have been even better if the original plan for WrestleMania 33 was put forth. Jericho revealed that the original plan had him walking out with the WWE Universal Championship at the grandest stage.
Jericho was on The Taz Show with Taz and the discussion got to this year’s WrestleMania. What we saw was Chris Jericho defending and losing the United States Championship to Kevin Owens. But that was supposed to be a win and for the Universal Championship.
Credit to Uproxx for transcribing.
“The original plan for WrestleMania 33 was Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho for the [Universal] Championship. I beat Owens at WrestleMania, and then I lose it to Brock [Lesnar] at the next pay-per-view at the end of April.”
What actually happened was Goldberg defeated Owens because of Jericho’s distraction for the Universal Championship at Fastlane about a month before WrestleMania. And then Goldberg lost the title to Brock Lesnar, who is still champion. Essentially, Owens would have kept the title through to WrestleMania, lose to Jericho and then Jericho would’ve lost to Lesnar at Payback.
Plans were changed because WWE needed to give Lesnar something to do for WrestleMania and came up with the idea that he would get squashed by Goldberg at Survivor Series that past November in order to get Goldberg back at WrestleMania and win the Universal Championship. That solved WWE’s dilemma of giving Lesnar something to do and he gets the title so Jericho wasn’t needed. Being in the business so long and plans changing all the time, Jericho understood.
“In the meantime, Vince [McMahon] told me that to my face, and in the interim, Brock and Goldberg had their match [at Survivor Series]. Brock realized he had nobody to work with, so then Brock thought, ‘I’ll lose to Goldberg in a minute if I can beat him back for the title at WrestleMania.’ So then my match was switched. And that’s fine, because that’s how the business goes. I mean, it was that close. As an aside, I’ve been the world champ six times, and never once as a babyface — always as a heel.”
I never did think about that Chris Jericho was never a babyface world champion. I have always been a Jerichoholic since he was in WCW so it didn’t really matter to me if he was a face or a heel as long as he won. But it would’ve been great to see Jericho as a face champion once.
And as much as I would’ve loved to see Jericho as champ, storyline wise everything made sense. To lose in a minute and not be completely buried, Lesnar had to redeem himself at WrestleMania and win the title so that works. And WWE was able to utilize Jericho into Goldberg winning the title to set up his rivalry with Owens. The only thing we don’t know is what would’ve happened to Jericho’s United States Championship because he probably wasn’t going to be winning both belts.