NXT Champion Kevin Owens recently spoke with TheWhig.com to promote WWE Elimination Chamber. Below are highlights:

A conversation he had with Sami Zayn:

“I remember a conversation I had with Sami Zayn, it must have been around 2003. We were travelling to a little show in Quebec City, which is about two hours from Montreal so we were somewhere between Montreal and Quebec City at a restaurant and he was telling me how wrestling for WWE was his dream. And I told him, ‘Yeah, well me too, but it’s not really a dream, it’s a goal.’ And he was like, ‘What do you mean by that?’ I said, ‘Dreaming of something is nice, but having it as a goal I think is different. I know it’s going to happen.’ I told him that. I said, ‘I know I’m going to get there.’ And he was kind of blown away by that perspective and that outlook on it.”

His first day with WWE:

“My first day was pretty interesting because I got the call that I was hired. I was going to start full time August 25 at the Performance Center, but my first day was actually before. A couple of weeks before, they brought me in so that I could visit the Performance Center, there was an NXT TV taping that week so I stayed for that. I had to find a house, so I found a house for my family to live in in Orlando. My first day was technically not an official first day, it was just more a bit of a sample of what I could expect. I got in the ring with Norman Smiley in his class. And of course there was the NXT TV taping, I saw that whole process. I met Triple H and I met Stephanie McMahon. It was just a really surreal experience because those are people I’ve been watching for years and years and years. To now get to see them and to get to talk to Triple H, who was basically welcoming me on board. He’s telling me, ‘Thanks for coming, thanks for accepting the invitation, thanks for coming on board.’ In my head, I’m like, ‘Well thank you for hiring me.’ That was pretty cool.”

Developing a relationship with Triple H:

“You know, I feel like I’ve developed a bit of a relationship with Hunter throughout these last few months. It goes beyond the ring. We’ll talk about our kids, we’ll talk about life. He’s very good to me. To have him take time out of a very busy day, he’s busy on Raw, and he took the time to tell me to just make sure you are who you are. And I know that’s kind of the advice he gives everyone, but to hear it from him, it really means something because ‘Make sure you stay who you are’ means that who I am, he’s got faith in. That’s a big thing.”

“I wanted to make my kids proud, I wanted to make my wife proud, I wanted to make my parents proud, and I wanted to make Hunter proud because he took a shot on me. I’m not the typical WWE superstar. He hired me anyway and he saw something in me. And I want to deliver for him. I want to pay him back for that by delivering the way he thinks I can and I think I did.”

Facing John Cena on Sunday:

“There’s no denying how big it is. There’s not a whole lot of people that walk into WWE, show up on Raw, lay out the top guy in the industry for the last 10 years and get to wrestle him two weeks later at a major event like Elimination Chamber, but I get to do that. That will literally never be taken away from me, no matter what happens from here on out.”