A new report says that WWE originally wanted Chris Jericho to replace Bray Wyatt in his match against Finn Balor at the TLC pay-per-view. TLC was held this past Sunday, and the event went from a decent at best proposition in the eyes of many fans to an instant can’t miss prospect just two days prior to the show’s scheduled airing. That Friday saw a viral outbreak in the WWE locker room sideline both Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt, who were both scheduled to wrestle in high profile matches on the TLC card.
Reigns ended up being replaced in the big Shield reunion main event match by WWE Raw GM and Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, in what was his first match in a WWE ring since August 2006. Wyatt was replaced in his grudge match with nemesis Finn Balor by SmackDown roster member AJ Styles, in what was instantly seen as a dream match, and ended up living up to that hype in the opinion of most.
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Many fans found it a bit odd that Styles was sent over from SmackDown for a one-off match with Balor, but were willing to look past any logic issues due to how great the showdown would likely end up being. However, it turns out that Styles wasn’t WWE’s first choice to face Balor. According to the Wrestling Observer, WWE brass originally approached Y2J about filling in for Wyatt at TLC, but the “Ayatollah of Rock ‘n Rolla” had to decline due to the event conflicting with a scheduled tour date for his metal band Fozzy.
A multi-time world champion and certain to be future Hall of Famer, Jericho is always a welcome presence when he decides to return to WWE. His last match for the company to date was during a surprise appearance on a July edition of SmackDown, which saw him face Styles and former friend Kevin Owens for the United States Championship. Much like with Styles, a one-on-one match between Jericho and Balor at TLC would have been the first televised battle ever between the two top names – they’ve squared off a few times on house show tours – and could just as easily be considered a dream match.
While a Jericho/Balor match would have almost certainly been terrific, one assumes it’ll happen eventually, and the Styles/Balor encounter that fans did get turned out to be a match of the year candidate. For now though, it’s unclear when Jericho will next come back to a WWE ring, or who he’ll next put on the dreaded “List of Jericho.”
Source: Wrestling Observer [via The Sun]