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WWE Payback 2017: Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho full match preview

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WHO?

Kevin Yanick Steen, aka Kevin Owens. Age 32. 6’, 266 pounds from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quèbec, Canada, about 25 minutes from his billed home of Marieville, Quebec, Canada. WWE Champion of the Universe until Goldberg beat him in like 21 seconds. Hey, it happens. Current WWE Champion of the United States of America.Former NXT Champion and Intercontinental Champion (twice). Also was a Ring of Honor World Champion in a past life. And Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Champion. Thrice.

Married with children. Trained by the Quebecers. No, like the real ones. Good family man. Bad friend. Actually, the worst friend now that I think about it. Face of America. Also an amazing French-Canadian.

Christopher Keith Irvine, aka Chris Jericho. Age 46. 6’0", 227 lbs. from Manhasset, New York, now residing in Tampa. First ever WWF Undisputed Champion. Once beat The Rock and Steve Austin on the same night (no, seriously). The only man to win a Slammy for Superstar of the Year and Tag Team of the Year (2008 and 2009). Also is a former WCW Champion—technically. Nine-time Intercontinental Champion, a company record.

Also a musician, actor, best-selling author, and in a past life, a game show host. Also hosts his own podcast. Has friends and a list and encourages people to drink him in for some reason. Amazing American-Canadian. Or is it Canadian-American?

WHY ARE THEY FIGHTING?

Because that’s what ex-besties do, right? Right? I mean, if your best friend broke your heart the way Kevin Owens broke Chris Jericho did, you’d fight him to the death, right?

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The WWE United States Heavyweight Championship. And a Smackdown roster spot.

HISTORY

Much of their history was chronicled in the Universal title match preview from Fastlane, so we’ll fast forward to more recent times.

At Wrestlemania 33, Kevin Owens apron bombed Jericho (because friends don’t powerbomb friends on the ring apron, but Canadian-on-Canadian apron bombing is fair game, I guess) and collected the WWE United States Championship.

Since then, the two have basically gone on different paths. Jericho’s still on RAW, while Kevin Owens was drafted shaken up to Smackdown, where he got himself a makeover and became…

The New Face of America.

I wish I could tell you there was more to this, but with the two now on separate brands (at least for now), their interaction with one another have been… well, pretty nonexistent, with the two relegated to promoing at one another from afar.

Sometimes with random people drifting by occasionally.

WHO WINS?

Well, if you’ve been following your wrestling news lately, one of these two is about to reunite with his band and go on tour.

WINNER

Well, one of WWE’s belts is already gone for a while (probably until the summer). I don’t imagine the E letting a second belt out of their sight for a few weeks, even if it is the midcard belt of the perceived B-show. The only question is how brutal will the inevitable post-match beating be.


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