On this week's WWE SmackDown, Kevin Owens reminded fans he can't be trusted, turning heel and beating down his alleged friends The New Day. Owens returned to WWE TV in late February, after being out since October due to recovering from knee surgery. To the surprise of most, Owens came back as a babyface, soaking up the cheers of the crowd and having seemingly renounced his old ways. Although he was quickly handed a WWE title shot by Vince McMahon, Owens insisted that he hadn't requested the match, and wasn't purposefully trying to cut Kofi Kingston in line for an opportunity.
Owens got his chance at the WWE Championship at March's Fastlane pay-per-view, competing in a triple threat match with champion Daniel Bryan and fellow challenger Mustafa Ali. Owens came up short, and went on to sit out WrestleMania, while Kingston ended up defeating Bryan for the WWE Championship at WWE's biggest show of the year. Owens didn't seem too bothered by this, and last week, offered to serve as a temporary member of Kingston's team The New Day while Big E was out with an injury.
Dubbing himself "The Big O," Owens seemed to happily take part in The New Day's playful antics, but the union didn't last long. On Tuesday's episode of SmackDown, Owens once again hung out with New Day, accompanying Kingston for a main event match against Shinsuke Nakamura. The match ended in a disqualification after Nakamura's partner Rusev attacked Kingston, but Owens quickly jumped in and defended his apparent friends. That was until he brutally attacked Kingston, beating him down, before doing the same to Xavier Woods. Owens then left Woods laying via his dreaded power bomb to the apron of the ring.
During the beating, Owens taunted Kingston with his own WWE Championship belt, so it doesn't take a genius to realize what this heel turn was really about. As always, Owens is a prize-fighter, and the WWE Championship is SmackDown's biggest prize. Getting close to The New Day was clearly just an effort to catch Kingston off guard, and sure enough, he did just that. One assumes Owens will now get a title shot against Kingston at May's Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
With Big E injured and Woods seemingly taken out, this sets the stage for a truly one-on-one title encounter between Owens and Kingston. Storyline implications aside, there are few better first title challengers WWE could've picked for Kingston than Owens. The match between the two men at Money in the Bank will likely be terrific if given the proper time, but one hopes Kingston's historic title reign doesn't end up being cut short by an Owens victory.