He helped revitalize Chris Jericho's career, so it's only fitting that Kevin Owens would be the one picked to end Y2J's amazing recent run in the WWE. The New Face of America regained his United States Championship from Jericho tonight on SmackDown Live, but victory wasn't enough for Y2J's scorned former BFF.
Owens made good on an earlier promise to make the "Festival of Friendship look like nothing" when he attacked Jericho as the defeated star was receiving medical attention. Though the match was over, Owens hit Jericho with a second pop-up powerbomb. As KO left the ring with the belt high over his head, Jericho was being carried out of the ring.
A "Thank You Jericho" chant broke out amongst the crowd as Jericho made his way to the back, but Owens wasn't done yet. The sadistic prizefighter returned once again and hit Y2J with a sickening chair shot into the ring post that left little doubt this would be the last we see of the WWE Grand Slam champion for a while.
The injury angle was likely done to give a storyline reason for Chris Jericho's upcoming WWE hiatus. Bryan Alvarez commented on Jericho's expected absence on today's The Wrestling Observer Live. Alvarez noted that Jericho's upcoming Fozzy tour includes many Tuesday night gigs that will keep Jericho away from the ring. "Unless they put another belt on hiatus, which they could do, he will be dropping the belt tonight to Kevin Owens on SmackDown."
Fozzy's tour begins May 5th and ends on June 24th, which would leave plenty of time for Y2J to return in time for SummerSlam on August 21 if the two sides agree on terms. Considering the success of his latest run, we definitely don't believe this will be the last we see of the WWE Legend.
The brilliantly vicious angle with Owens leaves open the possibility for Jericho to have a big money return match whenever he does return to the ring.
Social Media was quick to give their respects to Jericho and the friendship angle that has given the WWE so many great moments over the past year.
The pop-up powerbombs and the chair hurt, but this... this was truly devastating. pic.twitter.com/SKOUEHTVrs— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) May 3, 2017
Jericho is G.O.A.T. #SDLive— FightBoothPW (@FightBoothPW) May 3, 2017
That'll do it for Chris Jericho's current run. Was freakin' sweet these past 16 months. #SDLive— Daily DDT (@FanSidedDDT) May 3, 2017
I don't like Fozzy anymore. #SDLive— #ThankYouJericho (@GIoriousOne) May 3, 2017
If this is truly the end of Y2J's current run, we just want to say thank you, champ. The gift of Jericho is one we will always cherish!