WWE’s Kevin Owens is a darn good professional wrestler.
He’s had fantastic matches everywhere from Bingo Halls to PWG, ROH, and NXT, and will forever be remembered as the man who wrestled “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in his final match as a professional wrestler as one of the two main events of WrestleMania 38. He’s held 18 titles over 11 different brands/promotions, wrestled some of the best performers in the world today at one point in their career or another, and even has his own show, The KO Show, which isn’t always on TV but is much see when it’s on the docket.
But one thing that has eluded Owens, at least over the past few years, is championship gold. Sure, he’s wrestled many matches, and wrestled for championships in more than a few of them, but the man born Kevin Steen hasn’t held a title in his hands or around his waist since 2017, when he won the United States Championship three times over a three-month period, and his last reign only lasted two days, with A.J. Styles taking the belt off of the man who took it off of him at Battleground. Owens went from the “Prize Fighter” to a reliable mid-carder who could be counted on to put on good matches with the likes of Austin and Shane McMahon.
Well, fortunately, it would appear the “Prize Fighter” is back; after taking care of business in a bout with Ezekiel that sent Zeke to the hospital and his father, Ernie Jr., into a rage, Owens put on a match for the ages against Drew McIntyre, who jumped over to RAW for one night to poo-poo on Roman Reigns in the lead up to his Clash at the Castle bout – a match that was ultimately ended prematurely due to an attack by the Usos. While only time will tell what the future holds for KO on RAW, it would appear his decision to re-sign with WWE wasn’t the disaster some fans assumed it would be at the time.
— WWE (@WWE) August 16, 2022
Kevin Owens has a chance to really cement his WWE legacy moving forward.
When news broke that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were about to hit the free agent market following the culmination of their contracts with WWE, it felt too good to be true for fans of AEW. You see, before they were “Kevin Owens” and “Sami Zayn,” the duo traveled the world as Kevin Steen and El Generico, a pair of performers who put on some of the best bouts in PWG and Ring of Honor history, and would main event shows across the entire world. With AEW started by many of their friends, the timing felt right to see the two men returned to their former glory and elevated to the main event picture once more.
Now granted, that didn’t happen, as both men re-signed with the company before their previous contracts expired and based on what Owens said to Ryan Satin of Out of Character with Ryan Satin via Inside the Ropes, it wasn’t a particularly hard decision.
“WWE didn’t really let me think about it much, they made it clear they wanted me to stay. Vince McMahon, I dealt with Vince directly and he made it clear he wanted me to stay. We made an agreement right then and there. I’m a big believer in…my career is going to go the way it goes and I’m going to do my best with it. I’m there now for a couple more years and I’m going to do my best to get opportunities and knock them out of the park and reap the benefits.”
Wait, Mr. McMahon was the one who wanted to bring back Owens? Well, I guess he did book the Steve Austin match, so that does track.
Though the decision to return to WWE over wrestling the likes of Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, and Chris Jericho in a Tony Khan-promoted ring didn’t immediately lead to fruitful results for the French Canadian native, the change over from McMahon to Triple H has proven incredibly beneficial for Owens, as he went from goofing around with Elias, Ezekiel, and Elrod to fighting Drew McIntyre to a draw with no one man having a clear advantage in the bout. This, as Owens told Ryan Satin, is all part of the ebbs and flows of professional wrestling, with the in-ring performers having to simply make the most of the opportunities presented to them.
“As I’ve documented before, there are ups and downs with this thing; to WWE, to wrestling, to the industry. I feel like I’m a great upswing right now and I’m enjoying what I do. I’m really enjoying myself a lot lately. Hopefully, it keeps going that way. If it eventually stops feeling that way and I feel like I’m on the downswing, then it’s up to me to find a way back up. I’ve always taken that outlook. I’m having a great time these days.”
Spoken like a true friend of Chris Jericho.