I’d love to see WWE make Michaels vs. Jericho their featured
match on the next 3 PPV events. At No Mercy, they’re scheduled to have a Ladder
Match. Since Michaels won the unsanctioned match between the two I’d like to
see Jericho win. This has the advantages of giving Jericho a win in a Michaels
signature match and raising him to Michaels level in the eyes of fans. It also
keeps his title reign from feeling as fluky as it does now.
3 weeks later at Cyber Sunday, Michaels should get ‘one more
shot’ at Jericho. In a Hell in the Cell match. I’d give Michaels the title in
this match, ideally in a way that allows Jericho to feel unjustly treated. Perhaps
this could be another match that Michaels wins by going beyond the pale in
terms of violence.
That sets up their denouement at Survivor Series. Jericho
should challenge Michaels to an hour-long Iron Man match to determine which of
them is the ultimate survivor. Jericho will win with substantial help from
Perhaps it plays out like this: Michaels leads 2-1 with 8
minutes left. Then Jericho obviously signals for help. Cade then hits the ring
bearing a chair and rope. Cade smashes an already worn Michaels with the chair
and he ties Michaels up with the rope so he’s bound on the floor outside the
ring. During this melee, the referee gives Jericho a DQ so now the falls are
3-1. Jericho climbs back into the ring and demands the ref begins counting
Michaels out. The ref attempts to refuse but eventually relents. Michaels is
counted out. The falls are 3-2. The 30-second rest period between falls is
indicated on the big screen. Jericho demands the ref begin counting again. At this point, the announcers determine Jericho's intention and go bananas. Michaels
is clearly getting closer to escaping his bonds. 3-3 when the ref hits 10. Another
30-second rest period ends when the match clock hits 1 minute. Now, the race is
on. Michaels is nearly out of the ropes. The ref tries to count slowly and
Jericho gets in his face, chastising him. This breaks the count. As the ref
moves Jericho away, Cade sneaks over and bashes Michaels in the head once more,
ending any attempt at escape. With only a few seconds left, the ref, counting
at a slow but acceptable pace, hits 10 and Jericho wins 4-3 becoming the new
World champion. Jericho's plan works to perfection.
Jericho refuses to consider giving Michaels a rematch and
moves on to other contenders. He feels justified for cheating so egregiously
because of Michaels' history of intense violence against him. Cade becomes
Michaels’ new target and an object of intense scorn of the fans. His profile
would be raised dramatically by his involvement in this angle. Michaels can speak compellingly about
his own past as a beneficiary of a screwjob. Perhaps in a few months, Michaels
can score some victory that allows him to choose a match against Jericho. (The
Royal Rumble is the choice that immediately comes to mind but I’d love to see
Kennedy, Umaga (with a good new manager), or a Hardy get that kind of boost.)
Overall, this series puts Jericho in the top tier of
wrestlers as he ‘wins’ a program with Shawn Michaels. Both his 2008 title
reigns seem compelling and legit. He has signature, sure to be talked about
matches (including wins) and is involved in the obvious feud of the year.
Shawn Michaels is again perceived as a star maker, having
pushed Jericho to his greatest stature in wrestling. He has more great matches
under his belt and retains some sympathy for having his title stolen from him.
He also gets a chance to help his actual protégé, Cade, flirt with the upper
card for the first time.
Cade finally gets to play with the big boys. His program
with Michaels will automatically give him more credibility than he’s had
before. Whenever he and Jericho part ways, he’ll also have a perceived chance
to hang with Jericho. Even if either of those programs fails to make hay, he’ll
be in line to be Intercontinental champ which seems like a big stretch for him
in September 2008.