WWE Power Rankings: Punk, Rock battle

Mark Henry has taken no mercy in dominant performances in back-to-back weeks. Courtesy of WWE

In the Internet age of spoilers and told-you-sos, it’s a pretty remarkable feat when news of one of the most popular WWE performers making his return to the ring doesn’t leak before the music hits.

But when a surprise like that actually occurs, and it occurs on a pay-per-view like the Royal Rumble where every fan is expecting the unexpected and is still shocked by the reveal, that’s when you remember that it’s not always about being the first to know, as genuine surprise can lead to genuine reactions.

And that’s exactly what happened a few weeks back when Chris Jericho made his eagerly anticipated return to WWE at the pay-per-view, then went on to wrestle for over 47 minutes before finally being eliminated in the Royal Rumble match.

“It’s pretty cool that we were able to keep this a secret,” Jericho told me over the phone Monday morning. “In this day and age, everything gets leaked, so I told nobody, and it was nice to see that nobody told nobody. It blew my mind. It’s a real testament to how I handle things.

“It’s all about the surprise. You don’t want people to know everything. I think the reason it got over so well and why people were so excited is because nobody expected it. To know that we can still do that in this day and age with so much technology and so much information, it was really cool.”

With Jericho following up his amazing performance with equally brilliant matches against CM Punk and Daniel Bryan on back-to-back episodes of Raw, Jericho is hitting his groove like the words “ring rust” were never invented.

To Jericho, though, the secret to staying on top means one thing: keeping his character fresh.

“Doing new things, changing your look, changing your personality in the ring, the way that you do interviews and promos … I’ve been doing this a long time,” said Jericho, who’ll be hosting a new TV show called “Robot Combat League” beginning next week (more on that Wednesday). “I can come and go and when I come back, I’m always at the highest level just because I know what I’m doing. But more important than that, this is show business, and you always need to change things up in order to keep people interested. If you do the same thing for too long, it becomes boring, and I never want to be boring.”

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Previous rankings:

Jan. 8, 2013

Jan. 15, 2013

Jan. 22, 2013

Jan. 29, 2013

Feb. 5, 2013