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Kevin Owens' Universal title victory went down perfectly

Some across the media this week pointed to the circumstances surrounding Kevin Owens' Universal Championship win on Monday night as a negative. Those people are wrong.

While not entirely alone, Wrestling Observer's Bryan Alvarez was the most vociferous critic of the manner in which Kevin Owens became the new WWE Universal Champion on this week's RAW. Full disclosure, I'm a fan of Alvarez, and he's been a regular guest on my Nashville radio program in the past. He's always been available when he says he will be, he's done many segments with us, and I think he works extremely hard at his job.

However, I disagree with him on his assertion that because an egomaniacal executive in a suit came into the ring, hit two moves, and led directly to two pinfalls, it somehow diluted Kevin Owens' moment. Bryan believes Owens deserved better, and I certainly wouldn't have any qualms with that claim, except that I don't think his version of "better" in this case would have served KO effectively on Monday night.

On the surface, Alvarez is right, and WWE has certainly done itself very few favors respective to creating new stars or turning a page away from the McMahon family. Kevin Owens has arguably been the company's MVP over the past 15 months, as some superstars have battled injuries, and others have chased outside interests. Through it all, Owens has put forth a slew of top performances, both on the microphone and in the ring, and he's already been a part of four of the top WWE matches of 2016.

Therein lies the problem, and looking at Monday's finish in a similar fashion to the way AJ Styles pinned John Cena in the first meeting between those two men, if Vince McMahon wants a heel, it's become far more challenging to make one, not to mention KEEP one. Outside of Charlotte and The Revival, we largely remain in a wrestling landscape packed with middle ground characters. Seth Rollins has been a smarmy heel, but because of the quality of his work and what hardcore fans now look for in their favorites, he often gets more cheers from an audience than boos. Last week, The Miz may have turned some fans against him, but he may have won a huge percentage over, because what he did was in such stark contrast to his colleagues in WWE.

Would Kevin Owens have been stronger with a clean victory over Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns on Monday night? The answer is obvious, but that shouldn't be the question. The more important query is this:

Would Kevin Owens have been a stronger villain with a clean pin or submission on RAW? That answer is the one all of those up in arms at H's interference need to strongly consider.

Vince is already in a tough spot with Owens, as the popular Indy star gets a tremendous amount of positive reaction, particularly from male fans. He gets that guttural, "YEAH" response when his music hits, and while that group won't all of a sudden despise him, what such a seemingly lame victory does is prevent many new converts from embracing him in a way detrimental to his existence as a top heel. The same crowd that hated Rollins will still hate KO, and that's critical. WWE needs Owens to be an antagonist that enables babyface challengers to be built up to try and take him down. Babyfaces might sell gimmicks, but heels sell tickets.

There's no debating the fact that a Kevin Owens pop-up powerbomb win on Monday would have led to at least grudging respect for him. But, that son of a bitch Triple H sticking his bulbous nose into the proceedings? Hell no! Screw him, and screw that Canadian bastard, and I hope somebody beats both of their asses next week. Cheating douchebags!

A pure heel is what the company desperately needs, because it's such a rarity. AJ Styles and Kevin Owens are two guys who do so many cool things in and out of the ring that they have to be complete assholes to remain jerks. Thus, while I do agree with Alvarez that Kevin Owens deserves better, I honestly believe he got what was BEST. I don't care how he won the Championship, and as a heel, I'd actually prefer it to be through chicanery and skullduggery.

When The Rock won the WWE Championship at Survivor Series 1998, did it harm his career? Who was that moment really about? It was about Vince McMahon, right? But, what were the lasting consequences of that finish? Did it harm Dwayne Johnson as a performer or The Rock as a character?

Apply the same logic to Triple H's role in Kevin Owens' triumph on Monday night. We have a new alliance, which will create something fresh for the RAW brand, and we have a Champion who will at least be BOOKED like someone willing to break rules, take shortcuts, and thumb his nose at the implied morality of the squared circle. Also, KO is now someone Triple H, who regular fans see as a damn-near icon, was willing to assist. The fear of Owens becoming too popular to be the cause of a damsel in distress is at least more controllable as a result of WWE's decision.

When you know a company is always going to put one family as the stars of its own show, it shouldn't be surprising when many of that organization's heaviest or most dramatic scenes emanate from those individuals. At least in this case, the family was used to maintain the proper alignment of one superstar, raising his stature in the process, and guaranteeing that one of WWE's most valuable assets remains in the role he was born to play.

(Plus, we may finally have achieved true babyface Seth Rollins, which could help remedy the huge mistake in June.)

All hail the new WWE Universal Champion, Kevin Owens...

That lousy, cheating, backstabbing, piece of crap.

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