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Another reason why Kevin Owens dropped the US Title

Kevin Owens SmackDown Live

Kevin Owens was riding high as the New Face Of America. He was a brilliant heel and his character was flawless with his delivery. Every word he spoke struck a chord with the fans. He held the WWE United States Championship with pride and raised it above his head while he drew incredible heat the entire time. But all good things must come to an end and it all went down inside New York City’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden.

AJ Styles stepped up and defeated Kevin Owens clean in the middle of MSG to capture the US Title from The Prizefighter. The internet exploded and everybody lost their minds. There was also a lot of speculation as to why WWE would have a title switch at a house show because it was so out of the norm.

Nobody saw it coming because a WWE Title change of any kind hasn’t happened at a house show since The Miz & John Morrison defeated Kofi Kingston & CM Punk on December 13, 2008, in Ontario for the WWE World tag team titles. There was an NXT Title change at a house show in 2016 when Nakamura beat Samoa Joe, but Dave Meltzer pointed out in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that it was actually a television taping in disguise.

But now Sportskeeda is reporting another reason why WWE made the decision to take the US Title away from Kevin Owens. SmackDown Live is currently full of great heels because it’s easier to make a heel than create a babyface. But WWE’s blue brand has a lot of heels using similar gimmicks. At this point, they have three people using gimmicks that draw heat by using an anti-American angle. Rusev and Jinder Mahal’s bread and butter is the heat they draw from crowds because they have accents and make people think they hate America. Kevin Owens makes people think he’s better than Americans too but apparently, his accent isn’t different enough.

WWE is reportedly switching up Kevin Owen’s gimmick in order to freshen up the way he’s being presented. This will hopefully create some more diversity on the roster and keep the anti-American angles on heels who need that kind of heat more. This also might be another sign Jinder Mahal’s push to the top was a late decision because WWE wouldn’t have committed to the New Face Of America gimmick if they had known there would be three anti-American gimmicks on the roster by now.


  • CC

    But it only works in the USA. There is a much bigger audience outside the USA who are tired of that boring cliche. If the US fans are still so ingrained into thinking Johnny Foreigner is bad, and WWE is still too lazy to think of anything else, then that explains why viewing figures continue to drop. They need to think of something new, something original.
    Same as the cliched characters as well.

    And funny thing is, during the Rusev/Cena feud, I remember Rusev actually being the popular one outside the USA.

  • CC

    It does not matter the reason, the last time a title changed hands at a house show was in 2012. The news story says “WWE Title change of any kind”.. the important thing here being “OF ANY KIND”. The facts in the article are wrong, simple.
    If I remember rightly, the reason the 2008 change happened was probably because Punk was going after the IC title art the next PPV and it made no sense him holding the tag title as well seeing as he was not in an established team.

  • MrDr3w

    I think they use that gimmick more as a device to get their American foils over. Hulkamania kicked off with Hogan’s feud with the Iron Shiek. Muhammad Hassan helped get the “American Badass” Undertaker’s just plain weird biker gimmick over. Rusev even gets people to root for Cena now. It’s worked decades ago, and decades later, it’s still working. Why change that?

  • MrDr3w

    To be fair, the only reason Air Boom dropped the belts was because Bourne was being suspended for 30 days, and couldn’t defend the belts. So that one doesn’t really count.

  • CC

    Oh and can I just point out that 2008 was not the last time a title changed hands at a house show. Epico and Primo won the tag titles at a house show, defeating Team Air Boom.

  • CC

    I think this still shows WWE has not moved out of the old 80s mentality of “foreigner = heel who hates America” … Hell, I used to laugh at the fact that you go back a decade or so, and both Jericho and Benoit would be announced as being from their Canadian home towns when they were heels, but when they were faces they were always “currently residing in…whatever US town they were living in”.

    They really need to get away from that mentality. You can be a foreigner and a heel without resorting to the old “hates America” trope.

  • MindTricked

    WOW – I’d forgotten Kofi and Punk were in a tag team, and the champs at that. I can’t even picture them in my mind’s eye.

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    I believe Kevin Owens was better on Raw then Smackdown. I believe this time next year he will be back on Raw once again in the Unversal title picture not the United States title picture.

  • TheFizPop

    That first paragraph gave me some laughs! Thanks and keep them coming!!

  • MrDr3w


    On the other hand, Kevin Owens is a ROH guy, and you know how WWE favors their homegrown guys.

  • Rob ‘Richard Hammond’ Picken

    Fun fact: Kevin Owens is more interesting than Jinder Mahal