WWE: Why Is Chris Jericho Leaving & When Will He Return?

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Chris Jericho won the United States Championship at WWE Payback 2017. (WWE.com)

Chris Jericho won the United States Championship at Payback on Sunday, only to immediately drop the title to Kevin Owens on SmackDown Live this week. This is because Jericho is going on a hiatus. So why is Y2J leaving the WWE, and when will he return?

Jericho is leaving in order to go on tour with his band, Fozzy. This metal band which Jericho performs in as lead singer begins its tour this Friday, May 5th with a show in Virginia Beach.

From there, Jericho’s band has a show scheduled for almost every single day throughout the month of May.

The tour continues into June, with the final date currently scheduled as June 24th, 2017.

Jericho, then, will not return to the WWE until late June at the absolute earliest, but he’ll probably be gone even longer than that. The last time Jericho took a similar break, he was gone for a full year.

That hiatus started in July 2013, when it was announced that Jericho was taking a break from wrestling in order to go on tour with his band and explore other ventures. He did not return until June 2014, when he attacked The Miz on Monday Night Raw.

Still, we don’t know for sure that Jericho’s 2017 break will be as long as that one, and it’s still possible that Y2J could make a return this summer. If Jericho did want to come back within the next few months, it would make the most sense to have him return around Battleground, the SmackDown Live-exclusive pay-per-view which airs on July 23rd.

All of this information about Chris Jericho’s tour dates was known prior to Payback, and so fans were pretty confident that Jericho was going to lose on Sunday. When he actually defeated Kevin Owens and won the U.S. title, it was a huge shock, but then, when a rematch was announced for SmackDown Live on Tuesday, it became clear that Jericho was only going to be given a two-day reign and that his break was still going to take place.

Although it will be sad to see Chris Jericho go, part of the reason he has been able to stay such a consistently great wrestler for over 20 years is that he takes frequent breaks and does not allow himself to get burnt out. During the hiatus, fans can keep up with Chris Jericho on his Twitter page and on his podcast, Talk is Jericho.