Kevin Owens came into tonight’s SmackDown with WWE Intercontinental Championship aspirations. Instead, he was met by Commander Azeez, the mysterious man who helped Apollo Crews capture the gold in the first place.
In a title match between Owens and Crews, the two superstars looked evenly matched right from the start. Owens didn’t take the challenge lightly, and he brought out his best in an effort to walk out as the champion. Toward the end of the bout, Owens even seemed ready to shock the world and take down Crews, but it was help from Crews’ massive guard that saved his reign.
After he dropped Crews with a pop-up powerbomb, Owens then landed a big frog splash onto Crews while he was on the apron outside of the ring. Owens threw Crews back into the ring, but he was grabbed by Commander Azeez in the process.
Thanks to the distraction, Crews was able to roll up Owens from behind, holding him down long enough to win and retain his belt. Angry after the loss, Owens quickly hit a Stunner on Crews, but Azeez blasted him with a vicious strike. Sami Zayn, who came to ringside, then danced over Owens’ body.
During a backstage segment later in the show, Big E attacked Apollo Crews from behind as officials and agents pulled him away. This led to WWE announcing Apollo Crews vs. Big E for next week’s Smackdown.