The seeds are already planted for the hottest feud following WWE SummerSlam: Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens.
The inclusion of the SmackDown Live commissioner into the rivalry over the United States Championship between Owens and AJ Styles has created a tension that could easily be the catalyst for a powerful narrative moving forward. Shane-O-Mac is more than just a guest referee for their SummerSlam clash; he's KO's next great foil.
On Tuesday's SmackDown, McMahon intended to lay out the rules of the upcoming title clash.
Owens saw that as a chance to needle both the commissioner and Styles. He brought up McMahon's history of cheating people as a referee, pointed out McMahon's potential bias and reminded everyone of Styles' issues with McMahon.
The conversation turned to chaos, and Styles ended up clocking the SmackDown chief by mistake.
That exchange has boosted the build for the Styles-Owens fight at the Aug. 20 pay-per-view, but there was more to take from this. The animosity between KO and McMahon proved to be some of the most compelling stuff shown on screen all night.
WrestleView.com pointed out how engaged the crowd was for the lengthy segment:
That's in large part because of Owens and McMahon's dynamic. KO is an agitator; McMahon is the authority. Owens has no respect; Shane-O-Mac comes from a storied family that deserves plenty of it.
McMahon's star power makes him a smart choice to go against Owens too. The commissioner would fit in on Owens' resume, which includes feuds with Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, John Cena and Styles.
If KO doesn't reclaim the U.S. title, the obvious next step is for The Prizefighter to take on his boss in what could easily be a smash hit for SmackDown.