Not at all. The ending to the four-way Universal Championship main event this past RAW was explosive and unexpected; and in no way cheapened KO‚Äôs win. Within the match itself, Owens was booked strong, and after the Big Cass elimination, the remaining three (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Owens) were relentless when it came to avoiding a three-count and trying to gain the win. Sure, Triple H ‚Äėhelped‚Äô KO with the win, but in my eyes, he deserved this, on so many levels; and he (with the other three competitors) put on an amazing match that night.
I wanted KO to win, I was hoping he‚Äôd win ‚Äď but there was still that part of me that was skeptical. When HHH first came out, I expected him to eliminate Reigns ‚Äď that was a given. But when he turned on Rollins, it was shocking ‚Ä¶ I mean Owens himself looked shocked. I know everyone is chattering about a Rollins face turn, but I can‚Äôt help but think it might be the other way around. Stephanie is a heel, who has somewhat sided with Rollins; and she had no clue what HHH was up to. Regardless, the match was memorable, the outcome shocking, and KO‚Äôs win was solid, despite Triple H‚Äôs help.
At the end of the day, regardless of how he won, he did indeed win and become Universal Champion. His “tainted” win is not the first of it’s kind, nor will it be the last. I saw some people who were apoplectic on social media following the win, and the complaints I saw were two. First, some of my friends did not like Hunter being involved. Second, some were not fans of Owens winning it.
So, here’s my answers….
As soon as I saw Hunter, I said to myself: “watch this be a double screwjob”. As in, watch Hunter help Owens. And as soon as he went to put Owens in the ring, I just knew it was going to happen. I doubt I was the only one watching who saw that, so I am not patting myself on the back. But, even as I expected it, it was, I think, a good move. Here’s why. Owens had been sniffing around the upper echelon for a while. He’s as New Era as you can get. He’s a strong worker, handles the mic well, and gets the Universal Title scene another strong, young heel to work with. Putting him over is a no brainer, and some would say they would be surprised it took this long. Second? It reignites the Hunter/Rollins feud. This one was said to be in the works last year, prior to Seth destroying his knee. So, this gives them a way to bring it back to life. There is, of course, also the idea that Reigns will want revenge too, so I suppose there might be a triple threat match in the offing-which would be a good way to get a longer match out of Hunter, without making him work as hard. Though, I somehow doubt he’s in bad shape.
Beyond that? We won’t know till next RAW if it’s Rollins or Owens turning face, but either one could work. The assumption from me is that Rollins finally goes face, where many expected him to go when he returned. But either way could wind up working.
As for it being a cheap win? I disagree. A title win is a title win, and it was a memorable ending. We can all think of ways title matches ended that had some outside help-from Mr. Fuji tossing salt in Bret Hart’s eyes to secure the win for Yokozuna, to exploding cameras blinding Hogan, and a score of them all over. It happens, it’s a part of wrestling lore. That kind of ending is not going away.
Right when Kevin Owens won the title, I wondered if the ending had cheapened everything. When looking back at the fatal four-way elimination match, Triple H‚Äôs return to eliminate Roman Reigns and turn on Seth Rollins could overshadow Owens finally being shown as someone the company trust as one of their top two champions. The crowd, live and watching on TV, seemed thrilled with what unfolded. Based off Mick Foley‚Äôs reaction, he wasn‚Äôt pleased. This leads me to believe Triple H and Owens are the heels with Rollins turning face.
Owens has always put on entertaining matches, from winning the NXT Championship right away, to pinning John Cena in his first main roster encounter and making his yearlong feud with Sami Zayn always worthy of match of the night. If Owens is a heel, then the win isn‚Äôt tainted. Heels win by cheating and having Triple H there for the shocking assistance makes Owens the top heel on RAW and maybe the whole roster. The crowd at RAW was correct when they chanted ‚Äúyou deserve it‚ÄĚ as the screen faded to black on Owens.