Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens defeated Roman Reigns in a handicap match Monday night on WWE Raw, and Jericho became the new United States champion by pinning Reigns.
WWE shared an image of the finish:
THAT'S IT! @IAmJericho hits @WWERomanReigns with the #Codebreaker and becomes #USChampion for the very FIRST TIME! #RAW #USTitle https://t.co/x0FdiFGkOf2017-1-10 04:08:27
After the win, Jericho celebrated with his best friend Owens, as WWE Universe shared:
WWE Universe @WWEUniverse
The #USTitle is now the TITLE of JERICHO... PUT IT ON, MAAAAAAAAAAN! #RAW @IAmJericho @FightOwensFight https://t.co/24qdIYx3ys2017-1-10 04:09:25
WWE Stats & Info offered an interesting note on Jericho's win:
WWE Stats & Info @WWEStats
.@IAmJericho won his first title in @WWE in December of '99, and his most recent title tonight. That's a span of more than 17 years. #RAW2017-1-10 04:13:50
With Reigns set to face Owens at the Royal Rumble on Jan. 29 in a match for the Universal Championship beneath Jericho, who will be suspended from the rafters in a shark cage, Team Kevin and Chris had an opportunity to add another title to the mix Monday.
The Big Dog retained his title on a couple of occasions in singles matches against Owens and Jericho in recent weeks, but the odds were stacked against him on Raw.
Even so, Reigns made it clear that he was up for the challenge in the days leading up to the bout:
Roman Reigns @WWERomanReigns
Line them up and I'll run right thru 'em. #AhhhhYessir #Raw https://t.co/k5NEsGtVFI2017-1-6 18:34:21
Throughout KO's run as universal champion, Jericho has helped him keep the strap on several occasions.
Y2J involved himself in the match between Owens and Seth Rollins at Hell in a Cell in October and purposely got Reigns disqualified at Roadblock: End of the Line in December to ensure that The Prizefighter remained universal champion.
Despite their shenanigans, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon afforded Owens and Jericho several opportunities to knock Reigns down another peg, and Monday marked their best chance to do so.
While Owens and Jericho have proved to be a successful tandem, they have been stymied by the combination of Reigns and Rollins.
Although The Architect wasn't scheduled to be part of the handicap match, Owens and Jericho had to be aware of his presence, as he still has a score to settle with both of them in addition to Triple H.
The WWE Universal Championship wasn't on the line Monday, but it was a significant contest in terms of building momentum ahead of the Rumble.
It is the official start of the road to WrestleMania in April, and all three Superstars will have heavy involvement on the show.
Based on Monday's result, Owens and Jericho figure to have a ton of confidence on their side, while Reigns looks vulnerable as the challenger for KO's Universal Championship.
The tide changes quickly in WWE, however, and since Jericho won't be able to interfere at the Royal Rumble, Reigns still has an excellent chance to leave the pay-per-view with the title in his possession.
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