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.