Chris Jericho's surprise return to WWE for a triple threat match on SmackDown Live shocked nearly everyone in the wrestling business. Turns out, the return even shocked Chris himself.
Jericho recently addressed his surprise return, which happened on the July 25th edition of SmackDown, on his podcast, Talk Is Jericho. The reason he had traveled to Richmond, Virginia that week was actually to film a segment (or multiple segments) for the Southpaw Regional Wrestling WWE web series.
While in Richmond filming the segments, Jericho also set aside time to interview Tyler Breeze and Fandango for his podcast. It was at some point during his time there that he was talked into wrestling a match on television.
Jericho's surprise return happened when Styles and Owens had an in-ring segment arguing about the finish to their U.S. championship match at WWE Battleground, where Kevin Owens won the belt. The rematch was slated for SmackDown, and Jericho was thrown into the match to make it a triple threat. In the end, Styles won the title and walked out champion once again.
Jericho's involvement in the bout made perfect sense from a storyline perspective. He had been written off television earlier in the year following the split of his partnership with Kevin Owens. He came back looking for revenge on his former partner.
It could be a while until we see Jericho in the WWE again. He's currently on tour with his rock band, Fozzy. The tour will keep him busy for most of the fall, including an extended amount of time overseas in Europe throughout November.
Following his upcoming tour, it would make sense to see Jericho make a return late in 2017 or early in 2018 (Royal Rumble, anyone?). He has seemed to perfect the art of coming back at just the right time and then leaving again before his character becomes stale. In particular, Jericho's run over the last year or so was tremendous as he continues to evolve his character and stay relevant, 18 years after his debut with WWE.