AEW: Lance Storm must be the final labor for Chris Jericho

All Elite Wrestling
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In what has become a very ingenious storyline to probably cap off the ongoing feud between MJF and the legendary Chris Jericho, AEW has added multiple levels of dynamics to an already epic idea by having Jericho face not only sadistic foes in Nick Gage, but even old rivals from his storied past in professional wrestling. Seeing that this is the way that MJF plans to do it, there is no other foe more appropriate for Jericho than this man: Lance Storm.

Lance and Jericho: cut from the same cloth

Sometimes your greatest adversary is maybe the guy that you entered the business with. Just ask Christian and Edge; just ask Randy Orton and John Cena. There’s something there that works: two students trying to best one another as they learn their craft and even after, years later, as they fly from the nest of their master.

In Lance Storm and Jericho’s case, that master was none other than the legendary Stu Hart. Hart has been credited for training the likes of Bret Hart and Owen Hart (his sons), The British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart (his sons-in-law), Chris Benoit, and, of course, the two men this article is centered upon.

The two wrestlers’ careers paralleled one another, different perhaps only in level of popularity in the business; Storm, being more of a wrestler’s wrestler, and Jericho, more of the fan-favorite, but of course this is arguable in the end, as anything in this business is.

They worked a whole bunch of promotions together: Smokey Mountain Wrestling, WCW, ECW, and of course WWE, each cementing their now-legendary statuses in each of those territories over the years.

The Five Labors Of Jericho

Following Battle after battle featuring The Pinnacle and the Inner Circle — a feud that culminated after MJF turned on Jericho months ago — MJF told Jericho that if he wanted to face him one more time, Jericho would have to go through the most difficult challenge of his career, likening it to the mythological Labors of Hercules.

Hercules’ labors are a story that has been told and told again, yet maybe not in the wrestling world, but AEW has been surprising us since they started up and why not throw in a little bit of Greek Mythology into the stew; we can, after all, thank the beautiful and gallant people of Greece for wrestling in front of a crowd anyway, so why not come full circle?

Hercules, of course, had 12 Labors though, but really? Imagine poor Jericho having to face 12 opponents just to face MJF for the millionth time. It probably wouldn’t have made sense.

Hercules’ labors were the design of the goddess, Hera. She set out to essentially put old Hercules through the wringer, so to speak, and created 12 labors: 12 battles, or rather tasks, he needed to accomplish. The labors themselves were succinct in and of themselves but represented the most difficult of tasks: Slay the Nemean lion; Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra; Capture the Ceryneian Hind; Capture the Erymanthian Boar; Clean the Augean stables in a single day; Slay the Stymphalian birds; Capture the Cretan Bull; Steal the Mares of Diomedes; Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons; Obtain the cattle of the three-bodied giant Geryon; Steal three of the golden apples of the Hesperides; Capture and bring back Cerberus, as per Wikipedia.

And although we know Jericho won’t be cleaning the men’s locker room any time soon, the labors thus far have been pretty difficult, to say the least.

In his first labor, Jericho faced Shawn Spears, in a match where only Spears could use a chair, and in his second, he faced the criminally insane in the form of one Nick Gage. Jericho dealt with pizza cutters, fluorescent light bulbs, and a plethora of other weapons. By the end, his face was crimson in color, and we’re not talking about the pigmentation of his skin.

After that match, MJF announced that for his third labor, Jericho would be facing one of his greatest rivals from his days in WCW: the returning Juventud Guerrera. The two enjoyed quite the feud when they were both starting out in the business, or rather when each of their careers was starting to gain some momentum.

This sets the tone for what’s to come and if we’re looking back at Jericho’s career in and outside of WWE, remembering that we can expect only those not signed with WWE to return to fight him, we can look certainly to Lance Storm.

A ‘Game of Death’

Dare I compare it to yet another fictional tale: Game of Death, the film that martial arts legend Bruce Lee was filming at the time of his death. The film is incomplete (the one released featured a different story that was originally intended by Lee and a stand-in for most of the scenes; only the fight scenes in the pagoda were Lee, and it is those that I’m talking about here. In what would have been the final cut of the film, Lee would have faced five adversaries as opposed to the three we saw…the final of which was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the basketball legend.

Here, Jericho must, in essence, do the same.

What can be expected?

Jericho and Storm’s styles really don’t mesh on the surface, but if you watch closely, they complement each other in more ways than is obvious. This match could ignite a little of the old technical side in Jericho’s arsenal and that would certainly be epic to see. It would definitely be the perfect way to end this angle: face the man that you started out in the business with.

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The term “storybook ending” comes to mind, and for an angle based on a myth, “storybook ending” sounds about right.