WWE News: Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn make jump to SmackDown

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WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events & Creative Paul "Triple H" Levesque talks during an interview before a taping of the WWE's NXT show at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. Reuters/Scott Audette

Part two of the WWE shake-up got underway at WWE SmackDown with Kevin Owens jumping to the blue brand together with his United States title. But “KO” was not the only moving in with rival Sami Zayn following not long after. 

The transfer of the United States title was somehow expected with the Intercontinental championship held by Dean Ambrose now on Raw. Both champions collided on the April 10 edition of WWE Raw with Ambrose winning over Owens. The US title may have moved to SmackDown, but Owen’s tenure could change after WWE Payback.

United States title match at WWE Payback

The original plan for WWE Payback was for Kevin Owens to defend his title against Chris Jericho. The title match is still on, though the one wearing the United States title could be someone else if the “Prizefighter” loses his title before the pay-per-view. 

After emerging on SmackDown, Owens drew out the likes of Baron Corbin, AJ Styles and Zayn. Each had vested interest in the US title, leading SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan to set a no. 1 contender’s match. When the smoke cleared, Styles won it all after landing his patented “Phenomenal Forearm” in the main offering of  April 11 edition of WWE SmackDown.

Styles waiting for PPV result

With Styles’ victory, he now awaits the result of that United States title clash between Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho at WWE Payback. The pay-per-view is set for April 30 with Owens a slight favourite. 

If the storylines go accordingly, Owens should end up still being the champion, pointing to an imminent clash with AJ Styles. It adds new flavour to the blue brand, a thrilling matchup that should be something to watch for. 

While a Jericho victory is possible, his future bookings contribute to a likely loss at WWE Payback. He is set to join his band “Fozzy” on tour, something that will run until May 27, according to his Instagram post.

Aside from Owens and Zayn, there were other transferees from Raw to SmackDown. Also moving were former Raw Women's Champion Charlotte Flair and Tamina, both appearing later on in the show. But a bigger acquisition that WWE fans may want to look forward to is the coming of former Raw tag team champions “New Day.” 

The trio of Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E combined perfectly, one of the big reasons why Raw rose in the TV rankings. Their imminent arrival should be a challenge, seeing how most of the big stars on team Blue have moved to the Red show.

WWE fans in Australia can catch SmackDown and other shows via the WWE Network.