WWE Payback

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Chris Jericho def. United States Champion Kevin Owens

SAN JOSE, Calif. —  SmackDown LIVE, you’re about to get “IT.”

At WWE Payback 2017, four weeks after losing the United States Championship to his former best friend Kevin Owens at WrestleMania, Chris Jericho defeated the man calling himself “The New Face of America” to reclaim the star-spangled prize and officially join the Team Blue roster.

At the height of the action, Owens seemed to have the match won when he threw his former ally into the ropes for the Pop-up Powerbomb, but the veteran reversed the move into the Walls of Jericho. The Prizefighter writhed in agony while trapped in the iconic hold, but he forced the break by getting his index finger on the bottom rope — just as he did at The Ultimate Thrill Ride. Incensed by once again being foiled by Owens’ extended digit, Jericho proceeded to injure Owens’ left finger (and the rest of the arm) by crushing it between the ring post and the steel steps.

Kevin Owens attempts to barrel over Chris Jericho while defending the U.S. Title in a heated confrontation at WWE Payback 2017. Courtesy of WWE Network.

Following the attack on his infamous finger, Owens was unable to lift his former friend when he made another attempt at the Pop-up Powerbomb. Seizing the opportunity as Owens clutched his wounded hand, Jericho successfully locked in the Walls of Jericho for a second time. The champion was unable to extend his finger at this point in the bout and was forced to submit, marking the beginning of Jericho’s second United States Championship reign.

Because of his title victory, Jericho is headed to SmackDown LIVE. Now that he’s moving on to the blue brand, a whole new crop of Superstars could be making “The List” sooner than later. As for Owens, he might need to start thinking of a new nickname. “The Old Face of America” just doesn’t have much of a ring to it.