Tonight's post-Battleground episode of SmackDown Live began with the once-again United States Champion Kevin Owens addressing the crowd at The Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia. While there's been plenty of chatter about the controversial outcome of his Battleground match against AJ Styles leading to a review or rematch, few expected the surprising return of a long absent WWE legend entering the title picture instead.
Owens promised to resume defending his title "with the Pride and Honour it deserves," by reinstating the 'Kevin Owens United States Title Open Challenge.' But the prize-fighter swerved those hungry for a rematch or new challenger, announcing he would put the start of that challenge off until next week, saying "There is no way under any circumstance that I would ever defend my title in front of a bunch of hicks from Richmond, Virgina."
That's when AJ Styles made his entrance, demanding the rematch he's contractually obligated. But the Phenomenal One may have gotten ahead of himself, as he eagerly called for that match to begin "Right Now" and not "Right Next Week" despite Owens' protest.
It was at that moment that Chris Jericho's music hit, and the long absent WWE Legend made his return to a huge pop from the audience and looks of horror from both of Y2J's his one-time tag partners turned rivals, Owens and Styles.
Jericho silenced his former best friend KO, reminding the proudly foreign New Face of America that "This isn't Montreal, this is America, maaan" and that the last time he was on SmackDown Live he left on a stretcher courtesy of Owens' betrayal.
AJ Styles once again asserted his right to a rematch, making the infamous 'List of Jericho' for "trying to cut in line" in front of Y2J for his long-deserved US Title Match.
But as Jericho and Styles bickered in the ring, Owens attempted to seize the opportunity to slink away with his prized belt. Cue "Here Comes the Money" and SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon's entrance.0comments
Shane announced that as both Jericho and Styles are both entitled to their rematches he would be giving them both their deserved shot in a triple threat match against Owens, that would take place not next week, and not at WrestleMania, but Tuesday night!
More on this developing story to still come with this triple-threat match, but we can't wait to see these three go head to head!