Who will need 'saving'?

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January 21, 2008

Chris Jericho stirred the wrath of a sleeping "wrestling god" when he called John "Bradshaw" Layfield a "wrestling afterthought." But JBL may need to be saved after gloating about his brutal attack on Jericho and directing his venom toward Y2J's children on national television.

Tonight on Raw, Jericho will speak out for the first time since the attack and address his increasingly ugly war with the self-made millionaire.

Even close associates of JBL were stunned by the sheer ferocity of his assault on Jericho at the Jan. 7 Raw. It took dozens of WWE referees and officials to pull him off Jericho and release the cable wire he had around Y2J's neck. (WATCH)

Jericho suffered a bruised larynx, burns around his neck and had difficulty speaking for a week, and as expected, JBL was remorseless and reveled in his Royal Rumble opponent's misery. But then, he crossed a line.

"Chris, I don't want to make this personal," JBL said. "In fact, I want you to look at your kids, and I'd like you to tell them that I'm just better [than you]. Because, Chris, if you come to the Royal Rumble, the savior that you are espousing [to be] will need saving ... from me." (WATCH)

Some Parallels

"I don't want to make it personal"? That's a laugh. Like JBL, Jericho has been around the world. From training in Stu Hart's "Dungeon" in Canada to expanding his style in the dojos of Japan and Mexico to becoming the first Undisputed Champion in WWE history, Y2J has seen it all. But no one has ever tried to strike him at the core -- his family has always been off-limits. An assault with a cable wire is one thing. But by attacking Jericho the father -- insulting his manhood before the Raw audience and for his children to see -- he may have poked the "Lionheart" in Y2J.

It would be understandable if Y2J and JBL's differences were just rooted in professional rivalry. They have a lot in common: The two are history-making former champions who want the same thing -- to be atop the mountain in WWE again. Both have been best-selling authors and have hosted radio talk shows. Both know something about being forced to leave the sport they love and making comebacks. JBL was forced to retire in 2006 following a loss to Rey Mysterio while Jericho left WWE in 2005 after losing a You're Fired Match.

A Final Comeuppance?

And Jericho and JBL believe they have a point to prove. When Jericho returned in November, he vowed to "save us," and show that he was better than ever and win the WWE Championship. JBL sabotaged Y2J's plan with his interference at Armageddon and made his own "second coming," promising to dominate Raw like he did SmackDown.

With a roll of cable wire and a verbal slap to the face, JBL has changed the rules of this rivalry. As a veteran of Cage Matches, Hells in Cells, Elimination Chambers and Ladder Matches, Y2J knows how to unleash brutality -- just like the self-proclaimed "wrestling god." There may not be enough room in WWE when these two deities in sports-entertainment collide at Royal Rumble.

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