Kevin Owens' friendship with Chris Jericho was starting to be a distraction to his career, according to Owens.
In an interview with Steve Austin on his podcast, Owens said his breakup with Jericho on RAW a few weeks ago had to happen. The "Festival of Friendship" segment signalled the true end of their relationship as Owens decimated the United States champion. Jericho has not appeared on television since the attack
"I will say that it had to happen and it was a long time coming," Owens said. "I feel like, just on my end, regardless of why, as far as the relationship that Chris and I had, I feel like I've been, ever since I won the Universal Championship, I've really haven't been myself and I got here by being myself for 16 years."
Owens, who is the WWE Universal Champion, said the comedy roles he's been involved with since winning the Universal title has sidetracked his career. Owens said he simply wanted to end the distractions that came with dealing with Jericho.
"Once I took that title, I feel like I've got sidetracked with Chris and it was more about being entertaining and being funny and kind of popping each other and entertaining each other, just seeing how much fun we could have every Monday night, which is important in what we do, but there's also a side of what we do where at one point you've got to get serious and get your head where it needs to be," Owens said. "And I feel as Universal Champion, I haven't done that yet. And with Goldberg coming after me; you've got Brock Lesnar here every week, almost, now; and I went through Seth Rollins; I went through Roman Reigns; But there's a lot of other people coming for that title and I think it was time to get rid of the distraction."
Owens is defending his championship against Goldberg at the Fastlane pay-per-view on March 5.