Triple H makes shocking return, helps Kevin Owens win WWE Universal Championship
After Finn Balor’s injury forced the inaugural Universal Champion to vacate his title, the foursome of Seth Rollins, Big Cass, Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens earned the right to wrestle in a Fatal Four Way title match on Raw – and it delivered one of the biggest surprises of the year.
The Fatal Four Way was an elimination match, meaning the last man standing after the other three had been pinned or forced to tap would become the champion.
Big Cass was the massive underdog entering the match, having just debuted earlier this year with only a few weeks of singles competition under his belt when Enzo Amore was out with a concussion. Roman Reigns was in the WWE title picture a few months ago, but following his 30-day suspension for violating the wellness policy he was demoted to a United States Championship feud.
Owens and Rollins seemingly had the best chances to win, and during the early stages of the match Owens and Rollins remained on the outside of the ring while Big Cass and Reigns fought each other.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) August 30, 2016
Owens scored the first elimination of the night, recovering from a big boot to the face to opportunistically hit a frog splash on Big Cass, reducing the match to a triple threat.
Rollins barely avoided elimination when Roman Reigns hit him with a Superman Punch after Rollins had springboarded himself off the top rope, the first in a string of epic near-falls and reversed finishers.
The action spilled outside the ring, and just as Reigns was seemingly about to finish Rollins, Triple H appeared out of nowhere (he’d been entirely absent on Raw since WrestleMania 32) to hit a Pedigree on Reigns, then rolled him into the ring to allow Rollins to score the pin.
Everyone expected Triple H to help his former Authority member – but The Game turned on Rollins and hit a second Pedigree. Owens took the opportunity to pin Rollins and win his first WWE world championship.