Sometimes in life, something goes your way. Sometimes. On the August 22, 2016 edition of Monday Night Raw, something went right for Kevin Owens as the French-Canadian Superstar was awarded the WWE Universal Championship.
Kevin Owens may have been viewed by many as an "Indy Darling" but it is time to recognize Owens as a bonafide WWE Superstar. The next "Man." The guy chosen to lead Monday Night Raw into the promised land.
In this piece we will highlight Kevin Owens' WWE career so far as we dive deeper in the world that is KO.
15 Triple H
Triple H literally handing Kevin Owens the WWE Universal Championship in storyline mirrors "The Game's" real-life opinion of Owens. Triple H has been high on Owens since his arrival in NXT.
There is often talk of Vince McMahon's relationships and bonds with certain Superstars over the years. Such as Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin but now we catch a glimpse into Triple H's personal backstage relationships.
Kevin Owens is far from the Superstar of the past. Never has the face of the company looked so disheveled. The body of WWE sporting a visible gut. However, this is Owens and this is the new look of WWE.
Triple can obviously look past "tradition" and keep an eye towards the future of the company.
Prior to his arrival in NXT, the brand would run a number of video packages promoting the arrival of Kevin Owens. This was a highly-anticipated debut and the fans could not wait to see Owens in the flesh.
In these promos, Kevin Owens would discuss his fourteen-years on the wrestling circuit as well as current Superstars with whom he has formed bonds and friendships. However, Owens was quick to state how he would "fight anyone."
Kevin Owens would state that the only thing that really mattered was his family; a nice touch of pure realism in a wrestling promo. And to this day, Owens has remained true to this proclamation.
Kevin Owens is a real family man outside of WWE and it is refreshing to see that translate into WWE storylines.
13 "Fight Owens Fight"
Throughout arenas far and wide the chant of "Fight Owens Fight" will echo down the halls whenever the trucks from WWE roll through town. This pertains to the fans rooting for Kevin Owens and and his unique style of wrestling.
This chant was once known as "Kill Steen Kill." Violent indeed. In fact, a little too violent for the WWE standards of today. "Fight Owens Fight" does not indicate the act of murder, the chant was born from such a sentiment.
While WWE cannot silence the fans and their chants, it comes as a surprise that the company has allowed Kevin Owens to maintain this violent motto while also printing the slogan on Owens' merchandise.
Of course, there is money involved here and in the end, that's all that matters in WWE.
12 AJ Styles
The second hottest commodity in WWE right now (aside from Kevin Owens) would have to be "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles. Looking to the future: Styles should be claiming a piece of gold of his own soon enough.
AJ Styles made his long-anticipated WWE debut as a surprise entrant in the 2016 Royal Rumble where Styles would put on a show and display to the world that he can in fact hang in a WWE ring.
That night it looked as though AJ Styles would make a run towards victory until Styles was tossed over the top rope by one Kevin Owens. Months later, Owens would defeat Styles in a Money in the Bank qualifying match on Monday Night Raw.
The two long-traveled Superstars are both at the top of their game right now but it is safe to say Kevin Owens has the upper hand on AJ Styles.
11 First Major French-Canadian Champion in WWE
Pat Patterson made history when he became the first-ever WWE Intercontinental Champion back in 1979. In the process, Patterson would place French-Canadian wrestling on the map.
With Kevin Owens' historic WWE Universal Championship victory, Owens become the first French-Canadian Superstar to hold a major championship in WWE. Yes, Owens is making Quebec proud with that red strap in his possession.
Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon may have been a five-time AWA Heavyweight Champion but this is WWE; a different world, a different meaning. Not to diminish the accomplishments of Vachon who is a wrestling legend but Owens' victory simply stands out more.
Get ready to hear that French accent on Monday Night Raw more often because Kevin Owens is sure to have much more to say now that he stands alone on top.
10 Pay-Per-Views and Specials with Sami Zayn
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn - real life best friends - have gone to war on the Independent Circuit for many years; and obviously this feud would need to transition over to WWE once the two were signed.
In NXT, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn would square-off twice on a live special (NXT TakeOver: Rival and NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable) for the NXT Championship. The first bout would see Owens capture the gold and the second would end in a no contest.
Down the road, Sami Zayn would enter the 2016 Royal Rumble match and eliminate Kevin Owens from competition. This would lead to a series of Owens/Zayn Pay-Per-View encounters; beginning at WrestleMania and a seven-man Ladder match.
Following WrestleMania Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn would compete in the same bout at Payback, Extreme Rules, Money in the Bank, and Battleground.
9 Ladder Match Losses
The Ladder match is easily the most exciting match in WWE. More so than the Steel Cage, Hell in a Cell, and Elimination Chamber, the Ladder match provides that certain crash-and-burn energy that only it can.
As the new WWE Universal Champion, Kevin Owens should look to avoid defending the title in a Ladder match as this bout has not been kind to Owens thus far throughout his WWE tenure. Owens holds an o-3 record in big-time Ladder matches.
NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn: Kevin Owens loses to Finn Balor. WrestleMania 32: Kevin Owens loses the Intercontinental Championship. Money in the Bank: Kevin Owens fails to capture the briefcase.
While Kevin Owens considers himself a "Prize Fighter," whenever the prize is hanging, Owens is losing.
8 Fatal Raw
In a Fatal Five-Way match on Monday Night Raw, Kevin Owens would compete against Dean Ambrose, Stardust, Tyler Breeze, and Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Owens would capture the title for a second time.
More recently on Monday Night Raw, Kevin Owens would compete in a Fatal Four-Way match against Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Big Cass for the vacant WWE Universal Championship; and we all know the result.
Monday Night Raw and any sort of "Fatal" labeled match has been nice to Kevin Owens as the Superstar has twice been able to enter and emerge from such contests with a piece of gold to flaunt.
Kevin Owens is quickly becoming the new "Mr. Monday Night."
7 Chris Jericho
Nowadays on Monday Night Raw, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho are said to be "good friends." While the two are now "buddies," they haven't always gotten along on WWE programming and have squared-off in the ring.
On October 3, 2015, the WWE Network would present a live Saturday night special; providing that old-school Saturday night wrestling feel for those who were subscribers of their Network. The special was simply titled "Live from Madison Square Garden."
Kevin Owens had recently won his first WWE Intercontinental Championship and was set to defend the gold for the very-first time at the "World's Most Famous Arena" against a seasoned veteran in Chris Jericho.
That night at the garden, Kevin Owens proved his worth by defeating a WWE legend in the most historic of buildings.
6 Two Months to the Title
Kevin Owens would make his on-air NXT debut on December 11, 2014 at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution in a winning effort against CJ Parker; who would actually break Owens' nose during his first official match.
Two months later, on February 11, 2015, at NXT TakeOver: Rival, Kevin Owens would challenge Sami Zayn for the NXT Championship. Owens would capture the title thanks to referee stoppage following five Powerbombs on Zayn.
Two months is not a long time and the fact that Kevin Owens was awarded the NXT Championship this early in his run shows that the company certainly had the same faith in him back then as they do right now.
5 WWE Debut as NXT Champion
Walking onto John Cena's show (at the time) as a man who never once appeared on Monday Night Raw and getting into the face of the Superstar who "runs the place" takes a certain kind of arrogance; a Kevin Owens Arrogance.
Aside from the huge reaction and immediate pleasure Kevin Owens' debut provided, there was something special about that first appearance; something that had never been done before. Owens walked out while already sporting a piece of gold over his shoulder.
That night, Kevin Owens would make his WWE debut while still representing NXT as the brand's champion. Usually a Superstar will drop the strap before making his debut up on the main roster in WWE.
While this could happen again down the road, Kevin Owens will forever be known as the first man to debut in WWE as NXT Champion.
4 Lost Title in Foreign Land
To date there have been a total of nine NXT Champions. These title holders include the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura (current champion), Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, and of course Kevin Owens.
Six of these nine championship decisions have taken place down in the state of Florida, one in Lowell, Massachusetts, and another in Brooklyn, New York. However, one historic title decision would take place in Tokyo, Japan.
At The Beast in the East WWE Network special, Kevin Owens would defend the NXT Championship against Finn Balor; the very man who made his wrestling name in Japan. The stage was set and the stakes were high and Balor would pull through.
This monumental defeat distinguishes Kevin Owens as the only man to lose the NXT Championship on foreign soil.
3 Five Months
While performing under his real name of Kevin Steen, the man we now know as Kevin Owens would develop quite the reputation around the Independent Circuit. In fact, Owens would become known as one of the best non-WWE wrestlers in the world.
Upon his arrival to NXT, it was clear that Kevin Owens did not require as much time as others in developmental. Truth be told, Owens didn't require a stint in NXT at all and could have easily appeared directly on the main roster.
However, Kevin Owens did his time with the NXT brand and was soon setting his sights on the big stage of WWE. In a matter of five months with NXT, Owens was deemed ready for the main roster and would debut with a purpose.
Who else could have come up from NXT and gone toe-to-toe with John Cena?
2 Matching The Undertaker
There are not very many people in the wrestling industry who can match The Undertaker at anything. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair. These men stand heads-above the crowd but The Undertaker stands in a league all his own.
Kevin Owens is not going to become a mystical force within WWE. Owens is not going to create an aura of mystery to his character that matches The Undertaker. Owens is not even going to become the WrestleMania performer.
However, Kevin Owens does in fact share an accomplishment with The Undertaker; one that is rather impressive considering the circumstances. And it all stems from rookie year success on the part of both men.
Kevin Owens and The Undertaker share the distinction of being the only two WWE Superstars to have appeared on every Pay-Per-View during their rookie year.
1 Texas Forever
The state of Texas will forever hold a special place in the heart of Kevin Owens. On May 31, 2005 in Corpus Christi at Elimination Chamber, Owens would not only make his official in-ring WWE debut but would defeat John Cena in a clean fashion.
On September 20, 2015 in Houston, Kevin Owens would taste his first main roster gold by capturing the WWE Intercontinental Championship from Ryback at the Night of Champions Pay-Per-View event.
Then of course, on August 22, 2016, while back in Houston, Kevin Owens would win the biggest match of his career on Monday Night Raw when the WWE Universal Championship would find its home with Owens.
The Lone Star State has definitely played host to some of the biggest moments in the career of Kevin Owens.
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