Behind the 'Jericode'
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Chris Jericho's accomplished two goals when he interfered in Randy Orton and Ric Flair's Career Threatening Match Monday Night on Raw. He saved the "Nature Boy" from forced retirement at the Legend Killer's hands, and he successfully baited the WWE Champions into giving him a title opportunity at Armageddon.
"Randy Orton was avoiding my challenge for a week," Y2J told WWE.com. "So [I figured] if I did something drastic and embarrassed Orton on Raw it would force him -- due to his massive ego and pride -- it would work. And it did." (Read the preview)
Jericho was one of several Superstars in the locker room who applauded Flair just before he walked the aisle in the Charlotte Bobcats Arena for what could have been his last match. He watched earlier that night when the Chairman told Flair that the next match he lost -- whether it be by disqualification, pinfall or submission on Raw, ECW, SmackDown or on pay-per-view -- would be his last. He would be forced to retire, and his glorious 30-year career would end.
Like so many other Superstars, Y2J grew up watching Flair. In front of his locker, he smiled as he recalled some of his favorite memories of the "Nature Boy's" jet-flying, stylin' and profilin' exploits. But the ever affable, ready smile of Jericho faded when his thoughts turned to Orton and how the third-generation Superstar could have ended the legend's career.
"I also didn't want someone like Orton, seeing what he's done to people and legends in the game, to retire Ric Flair," Jericho said. "I wanted Ric to have the dignity to go out on his own terms. I believe he deserves that."
So, Jericho has given Flair a chance to extend his career a little while longer and made an immediate impact on the WWE Championship scene. After two years away, the first Undisputed WWE Champion has an opportunity to wear the gold again and "save us" from Randy Orton. Not bad for a man who was considered retired just two weeks ago. (WATCH)
"Now I have what I wanted -- an opportunity at the WWE Championship," Jericho said. "I also have a chance to do what I said I came here to -- save WWE from Randy Orton and his title reign."