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Kevin Owens becomes new WWE Universal champion on Raw, with help from Triple H

WWE built to Raw’s Fatal 4Way elimination match for the Universal championship throughout all three hours of the show on Aug. 29. In fact, they started earlier in the day, with videos getting thoughts from each of the competitors - Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens and Big Cass - on their way in to the Toyota Center in Houston.

The quartet was fighting to become the second man to hold the new title. Finn Bálor defeated Rollins for the belt at SummerSlam, but didn’t have it for 24 hours before a shoulder injury forced him to relinquish his championship without ever defending it.

Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley declared there would be no one at ringside but them, limiting Enzo Amore to talking his partner into the ring, and Chris Jericho giving his a vote of confidence during an interview earlier in the night.

After introductions and the bell, Y2J’s buddy bailed, deciding to sit out as much of the bout as possible. Reigns went to get Owens eventually, leaving Rollins to work with Cass for the first few minutes.

Eventually, the seven-footer sent the Architect crashing onto the floor, setting up a staredown and more between the two biggest men in the match. Roman and Cass traded blows, ending outside the ring themselves for a pair of dives from the two ex-Shield brothers and our first commercial.

It would be a while before we got our first elimination. After a long series designed to make Cass - the only man in the match to never hold WWE gold - look like a threat, he was felled by a Superman punch from Reigns, a superkick from Rollins and a Frog Splash from KO.

And then there were three.

Owens left the picture for a while, giving us a long stretch of one-on-one between the Man and the Guy. Reigns caught Rollins with a Superman Punch but couldn’t get three, which would become a theme for all three guys as KO returned and Raw headed past 11PM Eastern.

Then it got weird.

After Roman laid out both his opponents on the floor, Triple H showed up for the first time since WrestleMania.

First, it was to get revenge on his old nemesis Roman Reigns. A Pedigree allowed Rollins to pin the Big Dog.

Then, he revived KO as fans thought him was prepping him to be covered by The Game’s protege. But - probably fueled by Seth’s flirtation with his wife and just generally being marginalized since the brand split - Hunter hit his finisher on Seth, and allowed Owens to shock the world.

NXT’s founder and one of it’s most successful products celebrated together while Houston chanted “You Deserve It”. Haitch gave Foley and his wife a glare as he left.

Where do we go from here?

I have no idea, but it should be a freaking blast.

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