In just 6 short months since signing for World Wrestling Entertainment, current NXT champion Kevin Owens has made the sort of impact most superstars would spend an entire career in vain just hoping to emulate. The vignettes shown to hype his debut at NXT Takeover R-Evolution saw him claim to be “the future” and warn the roster from top to bottom that he was here “to fight anyone and everyone”. Nothing could have been further from the truth. That’s because when Kevin Owens says he’s going to do something, he delivers.
From the moment he walked through the curtain his reputation – and all the build up hype – preceded him; the NXT crowd was hot for his arrival and Kevin Owens just lapped it up. Within two minutes they were chanting “Holy shit”, “This is awesome”, “Owens is gonna kill you” as the powerhouse from Quebec astounded those unfamiliar with his work by performing a flying senton over the top rope to his opponent, CJ Parker, on the outside. Then, with a legit busted nose from the match, Owens wiped the blood from his face and performed his trademark pop-up powerbomb to gain a victory over Parker and his first in WWE.
Now Kevin Owens just isn’t the sort of guy to settle for putting in a great performance in the opening match of his first big event – not one bit – something Sami Zayn found out following his NXT title victory over Adrian Neville. At first appearing to celebrate with his best friend and former ROH sparring partner, Owens turned on Zayn as they were walking up the ramp, and then delivered an incredibly painful looking powerbomb to the new champion onto the ring apron. Kevin Owens had arrived, and this act has gone on to set the precedent for everything that has come since.
Adrian Neville suffered the same fate as Zayn the following week on NXT, after his match with Owens ended in a double count out, with his back crashing against the apron from another hideous powerbomb. From the destruction of – only a couple of weeks earlier – the two biggest stars in NXT, Owens has gone on to juggle more meaningful feuds at the same time in the last 6 months than I can remember a single wrestler doing since CM Punk. He’s now crossed paths with Zayn, Neville, William Regal, Finn Balor, Alex Riley, Samoa Joe, John Cena, and even Machine Gun Kelly – many of which remain as yet unresolved, or have been left open-ended for a potential revival somewhere down the line. This has been the beauty of Owens’ booking so far for me, like a giant spider in the middle of its massive web, that keeps moving between the various corners where his prey lie trapped. He effortlessly switches from one opponent to the next, and anyone new he happens to come into contact with instantly gets the rub of having worked with him, whether it be Solomon Crowe or Dolph Ziggler.
Kevin Owens has become the talking point, the abiding memory of any show he’s been a part of, and the main attraction people most look forward to seeing. His incredible feud with John Cena has been the catalyst for Owens to take his all round performance levels to even higher heights of late, and has looked every bit the equal and potential conqueror of the 15-time world champion. For a wrestler to powerbomb John Cena on his first appearance on RAW, and then score a clean victory over him at the subsequent PPV event is, not only an incredible privilege, but a sign of being handed the ball by the powers that be and told: “Run Owens Run”.
The matches with Cena themselves are already both comfortably match of the year contenders in a list that so far contains the triple threat title match at the Royal Rumble, and the main event of Wrestlemania between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. They have been unpredictable, innovative, and exciting, and even brought out a fresh side of John Cena, whom he forced into stretching way beyond his trusted “five moves of doom” in order to score a hard fought victory over him. Still, it was Owens who had the final say, delivering yet another devastating pomerbomb to the apron and then backing up the ramp with both titles in the air, laughing maniacally at his handy work. The deciding chapter of this feud will either take place at Battleground or Summerslam, where I fully expect Owens to emerge the victor and, assuming Cena accepts the challenge, your new United States Champion. It is also fair to expect yet another instant classic between the pair and another bonafide contender for the match of the year.
The latest actions of Kevin Owens saw him powerbombing rapper Machine Gun Kelly off the stage following his live performance on Monday Night Raw. More unpredictability, more intensity and more excitement. You just don’t know what the guy will do next, and it makes for incredible television. This has been followed by a somewhat weak apology for his actions on twitter, and then a dominant victory over Cesaro on Smackdown, who has been added to his ever-growing list of high profile casualties. He is the complete package; he can fight, he can fly, he can wrestle, and he can talk. He is a man that has grabbed his destiny with both hands and, after his feuds with Cena and Joe reach their conclusions, his star will be shining even brighter than it is now. The prospect of him feuding with any of the company’s top stars is literally mouth-watering; Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan etc etc etc. Watch this space because Kevin Owens is the future, and will fight anyone and everyone and I, for one, can’t wait.
What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.