Kevin Owens volunteered his best friend to put up his United States Championship title against Roman Reigns on the go home show leading into the Royal Rumble. This did not make Chris Jericho very happy initially, but he looked primed and focused while he walked to the ring. As JoJo announced the names of the two competitors each one of them looked highly confident that they would be walking away with a victory.
Roman started the match off with a stiff right hand, and he sent Jericho outside the ring so they could play a little bit rougher. He drove Chris Jericho into the barricade and was distracted momentarily by Kevin Owens before returning his focus to the Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla. Roman performed a drive-by, which is still a considerably violent name for a signature move of such a family friendly competitor.
Chris Jericho regained control for a moment as he beat the Samoan down, and Chris grounded Roman with a headlock while Kevin Owens took over the commentary desk. As Owens began to school the entire announce team, Roman mounted his comeback which was quickly stopped by a perfect drop kick from Jericho. Y2J gave KO a long distance high-five and went back to punishing Roman.
Roman began to no sell Chris Jericho’s slaps and started to fight back, but Jericho still managed to make it to the top turnbuckle. Chris jumped off the top turnbuckle for an offensive attempt but was struck in the stomach by Roman in return.
Jericho went for a move on Reigns but Roman grabbed him awkwardly. Roman tried to hoist Jericho up but lost his grip and Jericho rolled Roman up in a schoolboy. There was no count by the referee because Roman was almost entirely under the ropes. It was very reminiscent of the Chris Jericho and Kevin Nash match years ago. Roman went for a spear and Jericho answered it by drop kicking him in the face for a close two-count in the middle of the ring this time.
Jericho beckoned for Roman to get up and went for the Code Breaker, but Roman grabbed him instead and threw him against the turnbuckle. He ended up picking Jericho up and power bombing him for a close two-count, while Kevin Owens told the rest of the announce team to shut up. Kevin Owens got more and more frustrated eventually getting up from the announce table position and making his way down the ramp.
Roman pulled off a superman punch just in time for Kevin Owens to jump in the ring and pummel his future Royal Rumble opponent. The referee called for the bell and the match was stopped. Kevin Owens continued his assault on Roman Reigns and ordered the ring crew to lower the shark cage which was hovering above the ring. Cory Graves commented that they were “going to put the big dog in the kennel where he belongs.”
As the two best, best friends of the WWE attempted to put Roman in the shark cage when he mounted a come back and slammed the two men off of the steel cage. He pushed Kevin into the cage and locked it. Roman called for the ring crew to raise the cage and they did so while Chris Jericho held on to the ascending cage. Roman superman punched Chris Jericho out of the air while he hung from the cage with both arms.
Roman Reigns readied himself and speared Chris Jericho as Kevin Owens hung helplessly above the ring with nothing to do but to just watch the events unfold below him.
After Kevin Owens was lowered, Kevin Owens was informed that Mick Foley had decided that the Universal Title match this Sunday will be a no disqualification match. Kevin and Chris acted very upset by this news, but in all reality if you have seen any match where Jim Cornette hung above the ring in a shark cage, it might be easy to hypothesize what type of hijinks might occur in the closing moments of this match at the Royal Rumble.