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WWE News: Veteran Superstar Switches Brands After Title Match At ‘Payback’ – Is He Leaving WWE Soon?

The opening match of Payback not only had a title on the line, but there was so much more at stake that people didn’t even realize. There were a lot of rumors swirling about tonight’s WWE pay-per-view (PPV) event, but most of them were just about this one match. Kevin Owens walked in as the United States Champion and faced off with Chris Jericho once more, but when it was over, not only did a title change hands but one superstar switched brands.

After losing the title at WrestleMania 33, Jericho had the chance once again to fight his former best friend. This is one of those matches that many thought the end result was a given due to some upcoming circumstances that will be affecting the company.

The official website of WWE recapped all of the action as the battle for the United States Title opened up tonight’s PPV. It was a pretty good bout which went back-and-forth, but it ended up with Y2J forcing KO to submit to the Liontamer for the title change.

One of the things that made this match even more interesting was the Superstar Shake-Up from a few weeks ago. On the second night, KO was moved from Monday Night Raw to SmackDown Live while Y2J remained on Team Red.

There was the possibility that their title rematch at Payback could be canceled, but the company kept it on the card with an interesting stipulation added. Whoever ended up with the title after the match was over would be on SmackDown while the loser would be on Raw.

After that was initially revealed, though, it was also quietly changed to KO staying on Team Blue and if Jericho won, he would join SmackDown.

That ended up making even more sense with Dean Ambrose moving to Raw on the first night of the Superstar Shake-Up. Along with moving to Team Red, Ambrose brought the Intercontinental Title to Raw as well which left SmackDown without a mid-card championship.

After all the moves and brand switches, both Raw and SmackDown needed to have an equal number of titles even though Team Red also has the Cruiserweight Championship. So, that meant the winner of tonight’s U.S. Title match at Payback would end up on SmackDown no matter who emerged victorious.

This match had even more to it than just a title on the line and brand switch at stake, and that is where all of the rumors came from. According to Sportskeeda, Chris Jericho was scheduled to leave Monday Night Raw after the episode on May 1 as he was set to tour with his band Fozzy over the summer.

As a matter of fact, Fozzy has the first concert date of their tour scheduled for this Friday night in Virginia Beach as shown on the band’s official website. From there, Y2J has concert dates throughout the rest of May and into June with some in the U.K.

So, the rumors are somewhat true as he did indeed leave Raw, but for now, he’s only heading to SmackDown until further notice.

He can’t really continue past this week with the U.S. Title in his possession which means he’ll likely lose it on SmackDown this Tuesday night. As for Owens, he is still on Tuesday nights and he could very well win his title back in his rematch.

UPDATE at 1:00 a.m. EST

Road Dogg has cleared up the confusion and confirmed that Kevin Owens is still on SmackDown Live and Chris Jericho has moved there as well.

UPDATE at 11:15 p.m. EST: A few weeks ago, it was revealed on Raw that the winner of this match would be on SmackDown while the loser would be on Raw. WWE did not say anything about that tonight and simply said Y2J would head to Team Blue, but they also never said anything about dropping that stipulation. There is some confusion, but it will likely be cleared up by tomorrow night.

The company really pulled a huge swerve on the fans this evening as almost everyone expected Kevin Owens to retain his United States Championship with Chris Jericho leaving soon. Maybe, the company wanted to fool everyone and will have a big angle this week that has Y2J lose the title and head out to tour with Fozzy this summer. Either way, Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live saw another superstar shake-up at Payback.

[Featured Image by WWE]