Chris Jericho to vacate US Title on March 13th Raw?


Chris Jericho will have to vacate the US Championship on Monday, March 13, as per the WWE’s 30-day rule. Chris Jericho last defended the belt at a house show in Anchorage, Alaska on February 11, 2017, this was 2 days before he was attacked by Kevin Owens.


In case you didn’t know…

The WWE rules state that if a championship has not been defended within 30 days, the champion shall be stripped of the title and it shall be declared vacant. WWE implemented the 30-day rule to strip Naomi of her WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship. Naomi defeated Alexa Bliss at Elimination Chamber to win her first WWE Women’s Championship.

During her championship celebration, Naomi revealed that she injured herself on the way to the ring. On the February 21st edition of SmackDown Live, General Manager Daniel Bryan told Naomi that she needed to forfeit the title because the doctors said that she would not be able to defend her title within 30 days.

Kevin Owens attacked Chris Jericho at the end of the heavily promoted Festival of Friendship on Raw, on February 13, 2017. Owens grew increasingly annoyed with Jericho and concluded the affair by presenting Jericho with a new version of The List. This one, however, was The List of KO and it had only one name on it: Chris Jericho.

Owens then immediately began to attack Jericho. He threw him into the ringside barrier, powerbombed him onto the edge of the ring and tossed him through a flat screen television. Jericho was finally stretchered off and loaded into an ambulance.


The heart of the matter

Despite the fact that WWE has overlooked the 30 day rule several times before, especially when Brock Lesnar was the WWE Champion. It would be ridiculous for WWE to overlook the rule soon after it was used to strip somebody else. It would be majorly inconsistent.

The WWE are also about to promote the release of the WWE Rule Book, which will be sold on and at live events. Therefore, it’s very likely they implement all the rules during this time period. The only way Jericho can seemingly avoid vacating the belt is if he returns to the road before the March 13th edition of Raw.


What’s next?

Owens has set the wheels in motion for a match that is sure to be a highlight of Wrestlemania 33 on April 2, 2017. However, it may not be for the US Title, if Jericho plans on selling his injuries past March 13th.

Should the WWE not vacate the US Title, they will certainly receive a backlash from internet fans, especially after just vacating another championship on February 21st.

The WWE have selectively adhered to their own 30-day rule in the past. However, there seem to be several factors in play here, as to why they should follow the rule in this instance:

– The release of the WWE rulebook – WWE are heavily behind the release of this product, The book is said to be, “a complete guide to every single style of WWE match-stipulation or otherwise, lays out all of WWE’s rules (many published for the first time) and also calls out Superstars who have no problem breaking them.

With insight and commentary from WWE’s brightest Superstars as well as veteran referees, it’s the ultimate companion for anyone who believes that “rules were made to be broken.” It would be strange to overlook the 30-day rule while heavily promoting the release of this book.

– The Wrestlemania Ladder Match – Traditionally in recent years, the WWE has put on a Ladder Match at Wrestlemania. It has often served as a way to get several upper mid-carders on the Wrestlemania card.

Vacating the US Title and putting it up in Ladder Match, would allow the likes of Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, Rusev and others, to have a better role on the card than being thrown into the Andre the Giant battle royal. However, I do expect Samoa Joe to shortly begin a feud with Finn Balor, as they are the only viable opponents for each other.

– Naomi being stripped – Having stripped Naomi 9 days ago, it would be massively inconsistent to not do the same with Chris Jericho, come March 13th.

– Owens and Jericho don’t need it – I don’t feel like the Jericho vs Owens match needs it. Jericho will be leaving the WWE shortly after Wrestlemania and it would not make much sense to see Owens instantly holding the US Title after losing the WWE Universal Title, rather than getting back in the WWE Universal Title hunt. It would be better used to elevate a different talent. 

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