We noted back in late April how Owens was turned heel due to the injury that current SmackDown Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan suffered at WrestleMania 35, which had him out of action for weeks. Owens made a quick heel turn after being an honorary member of The New Day, which led to a match with WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. WWE had plans for Owens to make his return earlier this year as a babyface, but they turned him just a few days after WrestleMania when Bryan was put on the shelf. The original plan was for Owens to return as a "guy next door" who ate junk food, had the same problems as everyone else, and had kids, but could beat people up, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Owens was even given the Stone Cold Stunner as a finisher to help with the babyface gimmick. He has worked as a heel since turning on The New Day, until last night.
With the apparent turn on this week's SmackDown, WWE now has Owens back to where they wanted him originally, as the babyface.
There's no word yet on what WWE has planned for Owens past a feud with Ziggler, but there are several top heels that he could feud with on both brands. It will also be interesting to see what new WWE SmackDown Executive Director Eric Bischoff might have in store for Owens, who feels like he is ready to work as a top babyface.
Owens appeared on Lilian Garcia's "Chasing Glory" podcast this week and said while he enjoys working as the bad guy, he's ready for something different and he's confident that he could be a strong babyface for the company.
"Only because I've been a heel for so long now, I personally am ready for something different," Owens said. "And I also would love to see how successful I can be as a babyface. My ego tells me I'd be great. But I got a tiny taste of it and then for reasons beyond my control for what the show needed, I had to go back the other way. And I'm trying to make it as good as I can. But I still have this need to find out if I'm right."