WWE: Festival of Friendship
Back in February of 2017, Chris Jericho put on one of the most memorable segments in recent Raw memory. The festival of friendship was designed to be a celebration of his friendship with the Universal Champion Kevin Owens. But as we know, Jericho’s name ended up on the List of KO.
Back at Summerslam, Owens and Jericho would start their budding friendship when they teamed up to take on the team of Big Cass and Enzo Amore. The rest of the year saw Chris Jericho help his new best friend Kevin Owens keep hold of the Universal Championship in battles against Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. After successfully defending his Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble in a No Disqualification match against Reigns that also saw Jericho suspended high above the ring in a shark cage. After defeating Reigns, KO was set to defend his title against Goldberg at the upcoming Fastlane event.
Kevin Owens was unhappy with Y2J after it was Jericho that agreed to Goldberg’s challenge for a match at Fastlane not Owens. KO seemed to forgive Jericho afterwords knowing that Jericho would have Owens’ back in his match with Goldberg.
The festival of friendship was built perfectly, We all knew it was only a matter of time before Owens would turn on Jericho and everyone highly anticipated it would be on this evening. Jericho would come out with women dancing and then ravish Owens with such gifts as a painting and a sculpture. Owens would then say he had a gift for Jericho, this was Owens’s own version of Chris Jericho’s ‘The List’, The List of KO. Jericho would be excited about it until he saw his name was on there. This would be the point that Owens turned on his friend and put his head through the famous Jeritron. Jericho spoke about the highly regarded segment in a radio interview where he spoke about ‘Standing up for what you believe in’ and ‘calling Vince when he was on a plane’ to make his point and keep his vision that he saw for the segment after WWE writers lobbied to change it.
Jericho would be sidelined for two weeks after KO betrayal and would return at Fastlane to distracted Owens in his match against Goldberg where Owens would lose the Universal Championship. This is a huge shame and something I still disagree with, this feud had gained enough heat and emotion from the audience that their match at Wrestlemania could have been for the Universal Championship, not Jericho’s United States Championship.
But WWE decision is justified as their match at Wrestlemania wasn’t what was anticipated and didn’t go down well with Vince McMahon as seen on Kevin Owens 365 episode on the WWE Network. But we will always remember this feud for that fabulous night on Raw. The festival of friendship will go down as one of the greatest segments in Raw history and we should be thankful that Y2J fought so hard to keep it the way we saw it play out on television.