After spending the first four years of his WWE main roster tenure as a heel, Kevin Owens finally turned babyface on this week's episode of SmackDown Live.
The former Universal and United States Champion confronted Dolph Ziggler on The Kevin Owens Show to start off the episode. At the end of SmackDown, K.O. attacked Ziggler - another long-time heel - to solidify the transition towards being a good guy.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Ringside News), explained why WWE finally decided it was time to make Owens the good guy again. Meltzer explained that the plans were for Owens to be a babyface after WrestleMania, but that obviously didn't pan out:
"It’s very clear that this is a babyface turn for Owens who just turned heel a couple of months ago. I hate turns back and forth, but originally he was supposed to be a babyface.
The heel turn was just a last-ditch effort because Daniel Bryan got hurt and now he’s getting back to where they wanted him originally."
Daniel Bryan was the main heel on SmackDown Live, having dropped his WWE Championship to Kofi Kingston at WrestleMania 36. But as Meltzer noted, Bryan's injury forced those plans to change.
Owens was one of the few superstars on the SmackDown roster that was suitable for the top heel role, so it was an easy decision for WWE to place him back there. But Bryan is fully healthy now, and Ziggler has taken over as the challenger for Kingston's WWE Championship.
Interestingly enough, Owens had actually discussed in an interview on Chasing Glory that he wanted to turn babyface soon. Sure enough, WWE granted Owens' wish, and he finally has the opportunity that he's been craving for so long.
It's likely that Owens will begin a program with Ziggler for the time being. Kingston remains the top babyface on SmackDown as WWE Champion, however, so it's unlikely that Owens will take the title any time soon.
What This Means
Owens was undoubtedly one of the more successful heels in WWE, but after a while, it's time for a change. Owens doesn't have anything else to prove as a bad guy, and it's time to see what he can do as a babyface. Now, we sit back and see how his feud with Ziggler will play out - and if Owens will eventually regain his status as a main eventer.