The careers of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have been linked for as long as they have been relevant on the independent scene. Owens wrestled under his real name of Kevin Steen in various indie promotions and essentially played the same character and persona we witness in the WWE today. However, it 's been a completely different career path for Zayn. Before WWE signed him, Zayn played the masked character of El Generico as a Mexican luchador that struggled to speak Spanish. Steen and Generico became the most popular tag team on the free agent market as a beloved odd couple.
WWE ended up signing them both at different time periods, leading to huge success. From NXT to the main roster, Owens and Zayn have proven to be valuable commodities. There is a magic between them that always works whenever they're in a wrestling ring together. Owens and Zayn were meant to tell stories through the art of professional wrestling together. They have battled through the trials and tribulations of the industry together to find their place in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world. We'll look at the history of their relationship with fifteen things you may not know about Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s journey together.
13 Became Friends On The Montreal Scene
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were based out of Canada and tried to get into the wrestling business at the same time. Specifically in Montreal, the independent wrestling scene lacked enough momentum to generate name value. Zayn and Owens bonded by the shared passion for the wrestling business and being too good to waste their talents in the smaller pond.
12 Linked Together Coming To United States
The careers of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn started to take off when various independent wrestling promotions reached out to them. Owens and Zayn made waves in PWG as singles stars, stealing the show with stacked rosters featuring guys like A.J. Styles, Daniel Bryan and Samoa Joe. The two new faces earned enough credibility to get booked on the East coast via CZW and Ring of Honor.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have passion for the wrestling business, but that has not always worked to their benefit. Both men received heat from the other wrestlers in the ROH locker room when they arrived. Zayn was viewed as a hated member of the roster due to being too excited about the job. Names like Austin Aries, Jimmy Rave and many others often ribbed him with mean-spirited jokes.
11 Won ROH Tag Team Championship In Emotional Moment
The journey of the tag team of Kevin Steen and El Generico culminated in a special moment. Ring of Honor fans badly wanted to see them win the ROH Tag Team Championship. They fell short a few times to just add to the build. Steen and Generico finally achieved the goal at ROH Driven 2008 on PPV in the main event, defeating Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), who were known as The Age of the Fall.
10 They Loved PWG Most
Ring of Honor is remembered as the home of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn before coming to the WWE, but it was not their favorite promotion. Both men have gone on the record to say that PWG was their favorite place to work before making the move to the WWE and is the promotion they most miss working for. The West Coast company was the first major United States indie to take a chance on the Canadians, leading to their huge success everywhere else.
9 Kevin Steen Teased Retirement Before Turning On El Generico
The feud between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn is the main story known by the majority of fans watching them in the WWE. Triple H did a great job in NXT by using their past history as friends and rivals in smaller promotions. It all started in Ring of Honor through an incredible storyline. The tag team of Kevin Steen and El Generico endured a long losing streak that saw Steen start teasing retirement.
8 Their Feud Carried ROH Following Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins Leaving
The storyline of Kevin Steen versus El Generico is one of the greatest stories in Ring of Honor history. It also happened to come at the best possible time. WWE signed Daniel Bryan and TNA signed Nigel McGuinness, leaving a huge void at the top of the ROH roster. Steen and Generico feuded for a full year remaining the one strong constant for ROH.
7 Their Final Tag Match Came At PWG
Following the breakup, both Kevin Steen and El Generico attempted to remain apart. Steen moved into a face role, but still kept his distance from his former partner. That was until Generico’s final night on the independent circuit before moving to the WWE to begin his new life as Sami Zayn. Steen and Generico reunited one final time at PWG DDT4 2013.
6 Sami Zayn Was One Of Two Wrestlers To Attend Kevin Owens' Wedding
It has become common knowledge that Kevin Owens is a family man outside of the ring. Known for putting his body in immense danger and delivering snarky comments on the television screen, Owens’ happiest moments come from being a loyal husband and father at home. Owens married his longtime love during his ROH years and only two wrestlers attended the wedding.
Wrestling fans have always loved the work of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn through the various promotions and stages of their careers. One person that didn’t find anything special about them was Jim Cornette. The legendary wrestling mind joined ROH after getting fired from TNA around the time of the Steen versus Generico feud.
5 Triple H Believed In Their Visions
Triple H was the opposite of Jim Cornette in terms of being in touch with the current wrestling landscape. Sami Zayn would be spotlighted as one of the first big stars on NXT, leading to the promotion making waves online thanks to word of mouth regarding his outstanding matches. Things went to the next level when Triple H signed Kevin Owens to be the next big star for NXT.
4 They Wrestle For The Moments
The philosophy of what makes a wrestling match great is something that can be debated from various viewpoints. Kevin Owens revealed in a podcast interview on Talk is Jericho that he and Sami Zayn plan their matches and feuds around the big moments. Their logic is that fans will always remember the special moments that take place in a legendary match more than the moves in the match itself.
3 WWE Wanted To Profit Off Their Past Feuds
History has shown us that WWE doesn’t like referring to things that took place in other companies. WCW wrestlers were typically used poorly and guys that made their names outside of the WWE had to change their entire character when coming over. That made it a surprise when WWE chose to not only acknowledge, but go all in regarding the history of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
2 They Want A WrestleMania Match Against Each Other One Day
The rivalry between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn coming to the WWE has seen them achieve just about every accomplishment together. Some people in wrestling were meant to make magic against together in the squared circle and these two show that every time they face off. One item on the bucket list is a potential singles match at WrestleMania.
1 Major Pieces Of The New Era In The WWE
The new era is the latest slogan by the WWE to try to get a youth movement going. We have witnessed plenty of new stars come to the main roster in recent years. WWE has a loaded slate of incredible performers from all over the world. Triple H’s success in creating new stars in NXT is what truly started this approach.
Kevin Owens moving from NXT to the main roster and instantly becoming a huge star by defeating John Cena played a major role in the WWE trusting the stars coming up. The popularity of Sami Zayn on the main roster due to his NXT work also showed these talented performers were ready for the big stage. Owens and Zayn being two of the biggest success stories helped usher in the new era of the WWE feeling comfortable bringing up stars from NXT to change the game.
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