World Wrestling Entertainment did a great job building up the rivalry between Chris Jericho and AJ Styles in such a short period of time.
After the Phenomenal One’s debut at the Royal Rumble in January, the two WWE superstars split bouts on Monday Night Raw and SmackDown, before Styles defeated Y2J at the Fastlane pay-per-view in February.
That paved the way for Jericho and Styles to face off one more time before 101,000-plus fans at the ATT Stadium in Dallas for WrestleMania 32 on Sunday night. The back-and-forth “dream match” had its share of highlights before Y2J had his hand raised after nailing an in-flight Styles with the Codebreaker and getting the pinfall.
If you ask us, the Jericho vs. Styles bout was one of the better matches on the entire card, but apparently, it wasn’t WWE’s first option for WrestleMania.
WrestlingInc.com spotted a Wrestling Observer Newsletter item that says WWE’s original plan was to build up a heated feud between Jericho and none other than Dean Ambrose, culminating in a Y2J vs. Lunatic Fringe collision course at WrestleMania 32.
The idea dated back to the fall and Night of Champions in September 2015, when Jericho teamed with Ambrose and Roman Reigns to take on the Wyatt Family. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the original plan was for Y2J to walk out on his teammates, leaving them as low-hanging fruit for the Wyatts to tear apart. That would have been the start of WWE sparking its Y2J vs. Lunatic Fringe war, which would have been showcased at WrestleMania 32. Very interesting.
So, why did the company wind up going with Jericho and Styles, instead? Well, Styles’ splashy debut at the Royal Rumble had a lot to do with it. Also, WWE thought about putting Ambrose in the crosshairs of Brock Lesnar — a feud that wound up with the Beast defeating Ambrose in a no holds barred street fight at WrestleMania 32.
However, just because WWE flipped its script doesn’t mean it can’t revert back to it now. This past Monday Night Raw had Styles defeating Jericho, Kevin Owens and Cesaro in a fatal fourway match to be declared the No. 1 contender for Reigns’ newly-won World Heavyweight title.
With Jericho needing new heat and Ambrose on the mend from his street fight loss to Lesnar, WWE can put them on a collision course now, which would have just the right amount of time to build up to its Payback event May 1.
Something to think about.