This was a no disqualification match for Owen’s Universal Championship. Chris Jericho was forced into a shark cage for the match.
This match was basically the opposite of the main show’s opener. There were some cool and unique ideas in the match, but this really did not come together fully as a whole to reach its potential.
The match’s biggest problem was that it really felt dragged out. They started off with some weak crowd brawling which felt very obligatory. There was no passion. There wasn’t that relentless desire to kill the opponent that you need to pull off that kind of sequence well.
From there, the match moved back to the ring (and ringside area). They basically just built the match around a series of big plunder spots. The pace remained very methodical and the work continued to still be mostly executed without passion. It was very hard to care despite some fun moments throughout.
Reigns eventually had the match won, but Braun Strowman showed up and destroyed Reigns in fantastic fashion. That allowed Owens to steal the win. That did not make for a truly satisfying finish to this match’s story, but Braun’s destruction of Roman was fucking awesome.
Owens’ unworthy title reign is very reminiscent of Daniel Bryan’s first world title run in late 2011 and early 2012. (Will it also end with an 18-second Wrestlemania loss to an Irishman?) It’s one of those storylines that does no one any favors. Oh well.
The silver lining of this title match was that Braun Strowman and Reigns now seems like a definite Wrestlemania program, and their match could absolutely be excellent. (**1/2)