WWE superstar Chris Jericho has been suspended by the company for kicking the Brazilian flag while on tour. The matter in question happened on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at a WWE live event in Sao Paulo, Brazil and during Jericho's match with CM Punk.
Jericho, playing the role of the heel or bad guy, kicked a Brazilian flag that was laid on the mat by CM Punk during their match. Jericho did the action in order to generate hatred from the crowd in playing up his villain role. Authorities were seemingly very upset by his actions and considered taking him into custody, but he was ultimately not charged.
WWE though, did take action and posted the following message on WWE.com: Chris Jericho has been suspended indefinitely due to an irresponsible act of denigrating the Brazilian flag at a WWE event in Sao Paulo on May 24. WWE has apologized to the citizens and the government of Brazil for this incident.
A fan named Carlos sent word to WrestleZone.com about the incident as he was in attendance at the event in Sao Paulo. Carlos states that Jericho's actions didn't seem to be as big a deal as they are being made out to be. He says that no-one in the crowd seemed offended as they know he was just playing a character for WWE. Jericho even grabbed a mic and apologized to the crowd later.
WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross appeared on Sports Talk 1400 in Oklahoma on Friday morning and discussed the incident with Jericho in Brazil. "He was playing the part of a wrestling villain in an entertainment based entity. It's not like he was at a sporting event like soccer and disrespected the flag, but rules are rules and they have strict rules regarding the flag in their company... He's playing a character, did an ad lib, and unfortunately he stepped over the line for the local culture, so he's been suspended indefinitely and hopefully it will work out."
As of now, Jericho is suspended and there is no word as to when he may return to the WWE. He is scheduled to take some time off this summer to tour with his band Fozzy, but it wasn't meant to be this way... or was it?
Did Jericho do this as part of a storyline just to explain his absence from the WWE? He had been getting a lot of heat from fans online for returning to the WWE only to leave again for the summer to tour with his band. But now its not like it was his choice to leave, he did something in a wrestling ring and was suspended for it, now its the WWE's fault for suspending him, not his fault for taking time off right?
In fact, the whole incident was not even original. Wrestlers have been disrespecting other country's flags for as long as I can remember. The heel always disrespects the flag of the hometown, and the babyface always disrespects the flag of the foreign wrestler. The basic rule I have always heard about this is that anything brought to the ring is fair game. If you bring something out with him, then the other guy is allowed to use it against you, or smash it, whatever they want. If you ride a motorcycle to the ring you are taking the chance that the other guy might decide to go and kick it over. If you bring your girlfriend to the ring usually the other guy will try to steal a kiss, etc.
The only debate here is that locals were upset because they do not follow the same rules and customs. While it might be ok to walk into Canada and disrespect the Canadian flag, which the WWE has done more than once, it apparently isn't ok to do the same in Brazil. Reports say fans were outraged and police wanted to arrest Jericho. However, quotes from actual fans in attendance say otherwise, that the fans were not anymore upset than by anything else Jericho was doing. And as far as the police being furious and wanting to arrest him, that seems like an angle since pictures have been posted online of Jericho posing with the police after the show lol.
Personally I think it was an angle to write him off TV for a while so he can tour with his band. But I wish it would have been done on TV so that the fans could have seen it and not read about it. And I think they should have come up with something more than just kicking a flag. I mean usually when a guy wants time off they say he is injured or failed a drug test, not suspended for kicking a flag lol. But Jericho has always been different.