He’s Baaaaaaaaaaaaaccckkkkkk!!!By Laurence SalfordNo, I am not referring to my weeks absence, where I have had a much needed holiday from wrestling over the Christmas season, but I am of course referring to the return of Y2J himself to out TV screens at Monday Night Raw last night. He has been away for a long time, since November 2010 in fact, and his return has been greeted with universal approval. I just wanted to use this column this week to talk about the best wrestler in the world (no offense Punk) – Chris Jericho.<!--more-->There aren’t many superstars that have as much critical acclaim and universal love as Jericho , with perhaps the exception of Shawn Michaels. He has earned this love through many years of wrestling at a very high standard, and being one of the few superstars that can leave WWE, have a much needed break and rest, achieve things outside of the business, and then return in higher esteem in the eyes of the fans. I don’t want to sit here and run through his personal history, which I assume that everyone knows like the back of their hand, but instead talk about the man at what makes him the best in the world at what he does:He knows what’s good for business – It’s easy for superstars to get a massive ego when in wrestling, and reaching the top of the ladder in the WWE. Not only do you have to have some sort of showmanship type personality, but receiving acclaim and approval from adoring fans day in, day out can only feed feelings of love for the self. When a superstar then toils for many years to reach the top of the ladder, they may feel like they know what’s best for business, and will by this point, be in a trusted position by Vince McMahon, and utilize this potential power to make themselves look amazing constantly. The unstoppable nature of some main event acts is legendary over the years, but Jericho has never been like this. When he wrestles, he makes the other person look good, and even gives up and coming superstars victories over him, that other traditional main eventers don’t get.Main eventers should be difficult to beat, as otherwise it means nothing to beat them, but occasionally, they need to be made to look human. Traditionally, when superstars don’t ever put anyone over (HHH, Cena) it doesn’t put them over well with the fans, as it becomes dull to see them win. When Jericho faces someone like Evan Bourne, you know that there is a chance that Evan could win, so it tells a better story. When Evan gets Jericho in a pinning position, you know that Jericho could lose, and it gets you emotionally invested, more so that if it was Cena etc, as you know that Cena would never lose that match clean. Jericho understands what’s good for business, knows that young stars need to be built up as well, and commits himself to this cause.He knows when he’s done – Another common affliction in wrestling is burnout. The superstars are on the road for a lot of their life, separated from their families and normal life, rarely getting an opportunity to have a break. If they start to settle down with a family, then the lure of staying at home will be greater, than if they didn’t have this. The older a person gets, the likelihood of them wanting to take a break is greater, as being on the road takes its toll. If you’ve read Jericho ’s book, you will know that when he first took a break from the business in the middle of the last decade, he chose to do it because his contract was coming to an end and he was suffering from burnout. He recognised that he wasn’t performing to the best of his ability any more, and didn’t want to phone in his performances. We’ve all seen matches with a legend of the business who has put in the minimum effort to the match and taken the money, but Jericho isn’t like that. Every time he returns, he does so because he misses the business, and wants to wrestle against the current roster. Superstars like Jericho are ultimately better to watch, because you know that when he appears, he will put on a great show, regardless of what sort of match it is.He also thinks about his character a lot, and only has rivalries that make sense. I can remember reading Mick Foleys book and him writing that if he’s a heel, then he should do things that only a heel would do. If he is booked to have a rivalry with someone, then he needs a real reason to be going up against that certain superstar, and will come up with one to make it look authentic. Foley, Punk & Jericho are three examples of superstars that put this sort of effort in and it helps create a bond with the fans that superstars that don’t put this effort in don’t have.He can wrestle as well as anyone – I know this point is really just a matter of opinion, and several wrestlers can be given the title of “best in the world” etc, but Jericho’s matches are just as good as anyone at the top of their game. It’s not just that he has the athleticism and charisma to pull off great matches, but he also adds so much to his moveset. It’s not just that he can pull off a good match with someone of any build and wrestling ability, but that he creates such variety in his matches. Whether it’s coming up with a good finish to his matches, creating a memorable spot or grappling chain, he really puts the effort in. When you see someone coasting by on the same old moveset, not really adding to their current efforts, it’s disappointing.When someone as versatile as Orton comes in at No2 in the top wrestlers of 2011, it’s no surprise as he can wrestle so well in the ring, and this is what Jericho can bring to the table as well. Being adaptable and putting on a good show in the ring is vital, and there is no-one better than Y2J.He creates an actual gimmick – I know that a lot of the time, superstars have to earn their way to the TV time that enables them to create gimmicks, but WWE is littered with a lot of cookie cutter superstars with the same gimmick as the rest – angry heel, happy face, cocky heel etc. Every time Jericho joins the WWE, he creates himself a good gimmick and sticks to it, adding to the personality as he goes. In this day and age, no-one (aside from Goldust) will have too a ridiculous gimmick as the days of LOD etc are over, but there are still character innovations to be had, just look at Cody Rhodes. Jericho thinks about his character and doesn’t want to be the same as everyone else.If you look at some of his Twitter chat over past year, he talks about how there are so many aspects of the heel character that he created against Shawn Michaels in their feud scattered about amongst the main heels in professional wrestling currently. You know that his character now he has come back now to WWE will be different, despite him looking very similar to his old character on Raw this week.Looking back on what I have just written, I know that it seems like a massive love letter to Jericho , but I don’t know what else to say about the guy aside from that. He is a complete wrestling package, and I am so thrilled that he is back because he is a genuinely exciting person to watch in the ring, and I can’t wait to see whatever rivalry develops for him on Raw. He probably ranks at the number two spot in my all time favourite wrestler list (Undertaker as number one of course) and I can’t see anyone displacing him anytime soon, as he’s had such a long and varied career against the best wrestlers in the world and has always looked good.I thought I would just finish this column off by sharing my favourite three Jericho moments, and hope that all who read this share their Jericho favourite moment’s as well:3) The debut in 1999 – Can’t really pick anything else apart from this, as although what followed after didn’t catapult him as much as people would have hoped; the debut was amazing against the Rock. Not only was it exciting and different, but was a great way to debut someone new who has as much charisma as Jericho.2) The feud with Mysterio in 2010 – I loved this feud more than any other that he has been in, and loved each match that they had. The fact that it was based around good, legitimate feud reasons and for the IC Title made it even better in my eyes.1) The undisputed title win – Nothing else could be the #1 moment for me, as it was when Jericho was truly a main eventer, and cemented his legacy at the top. I can remember watching it and never even thinking for a moment, that Jericho would win. Not only were the matches good, but it was a truly great wrestling moment and reward for Y2J.Email me Laurence_salford@hotmail.comTweet @l_salford