Kevin Owens became a breakout star for WWE quickly into his start in NXT. The rise of the top of NXT would see Owens make the main roster in record-breaking time. Fans just connected with the story of Owens as a great performer that worked his hardest to achieve a goal most deemed impossible due to his look and wrestling style.
WWE has made Owens an upper-level performer for many years now. The accomplishments of Universal Champion, Intercontinental Champion, United States Champion and quite a few PPV main events showcase the star power of Owens. We will look back at some of his best performances during his time in WWE. All these bouts played a huge role in him gaining such a secure spot. These are the top ten overall matches from Kevin Owens’ WWE run.
10 Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns vs Big Cass (Raw: August 29, 2016)
The biggest win of Kevin Owens’ career came during an episode of Raw in a match for the vacant Universal Championship match. Finn Balor was forced to relinquish the title after one night due to an unexpected injury putting him on the shelf.
Owens won the title defeating Seth Rollins, Big Cass and Roman Reigns in an elimination match on Raw. Triple H made a shocking return costing both Reigns and Rollins as he picked KO as his next big star. The match was quite exciting with a superb ending.
9 Kevin Owens vs Daniel Bryan vs Mustafa Ali (Fastlane 2019)
Kevin Owens’ return from an injury in early 2019 came in a weird time. Fans were falling in love with the rise of Kofi Kingston and wanted him to face Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship. Owens returned replacing Kingston in the Fastlane title match at the decision of Vince McMahon.
Despite playing the face role, fans were not sure how to react to the former heel essentially stealing Kofi’s chance. Ali was added to the match with fans heckling all three talented wrestlers to start. Owens, Bryan and Ali turned the tide with an outstanding match that eventually won them over.
8 Kevin Owens vs Finn Balor (NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 2015)
The NXT run of Kevin Owens was short, but he still created a legacy during his time there. Owens won the NXT Championship from Sami Zayn just a few months into his start. The title reign ended when KO was called up to the main roster as he lost to Finn Balor at a WWE Network special in Tokyo.
Owens made one final return to NXT facing off with Balor in a ladder match for the NXT Championship. This was the first major TakeOver event outside of the Full Sail venue. Owens and Balor had an outstanding main event that sometimes gets forgotten due to the Sasha Banks vs Bayley classic taking place on the same night.
7 Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell 2016)
Kevin Owens’ Universal Championship reign would see Seth Rollins become his first major rival. Triple H turning on Rollins in favor of Owens put them even more at odds with the biggest prize on the Raw brand on the line inside of the Hell in a Cell match.
Owens and Rollins delivered a great match using various weapons showcasing strong violence in the match stipulation. The interference of Chris Jericho turned it into a glorified handicap match with Owens retaining the title thanks to his best friend.
6 Kevin Owens vs The Miz vs Cesaro vs Sami Zayn (Extreme Rules 2016)
The rivalries of Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn and Cesaro vs The Miz intertwined for a superb fatal four-way match at Extreme Rules 2016. All four men were at the top of their game here competing against each other for the Intercontinental Championship.
Miz was making the title relevant again after winning it with Maryse at his side as a manager. Owens and Zayn were amid a bitter rivalry with Cesaro returning from an injury looking to gain moment. The match stole the show with Miz retaining as champion.
5 Kevin Owens vs John Cena (Elimination Chamber 2015)
The debut of Kevin Owens on the main roster came when he attacked John Cena during Cena’s open challenge for the United States Championship. Instead of trying to win the title, Owens just attacked Cena to send a message that he was here.
The NXT Champion KO and the U.S. Champion Cena had a non-title match at Elimination Chamber 2015. Owens performed at an extremely high level and scored the shocking win. Cena had very few clean losses on his record at the time, and Owens became a huge star thanks to beating him.
4 Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon (Hell in a Cell 2017)
Kevin Owens had two extremely different storylines with Shane McMahon. The first one featured him as a heel disliking the management style of Shane running Smackdown. A vicious attack on Vince McMahon added huge heat heading into a Hell in a Cell match.
Owens and McMahon had one of the better HIAC matches in recent memory. The teases of Owens jumping off the cell had fans stunned as he struggled with the decision to go for it. Shane eventually recovered and was the one to dive off the cell. Sami Zayn however turned heel by saving Owens and giving him the win.
3 Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns (Royal Rumble 2017)
The Universal Championship reign of Kevin Owens had one final great defense at the 2017 Royal Rumble event against Roman Reigns. Many fans expected Reigns to win the Universal title heading into WrestleMania season.
Reigns and Owens had the stipulation of a Last Man Standing match. The innovative use of tables and chairs made the match an instant classic. Braun Strowman’s interference helped Owens retain when the monster attacked Reigns. Owens sadly lost the title the following month to Goldberg in a squash match, so this was the final high point.
2 Kevin Owens vs Dean Ambrose (Royal Rumble 2016)
Kevin Owens had multiple Last Man Standing matches against members of The Shield at Royal Rumble events as both would turn into instant classics. Dean Ambrose faced Owens for the Intercontinental Championship at the 2016 Rumble event.
Both men put their bodies on the line with extremely dangerous spots. Owens would take the most shocking one when getting pushed off the turnbuckle into a structure of tables outside of the ring. Ambrose scored the win even though both performers looked like top stars in this match.
1 Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn (Battleground 2016)
The rivalry between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn has seen them wrestle all over the world in various promotions. Owens and Zayn had their most high-profile match on the Battleground 2016 event getting to payoff their feud on PPV.
Both wrestlers treated it like their WrestleMania main event as they left nothing in the bag. Owens played an outstanding heel making the fans truly feel something when Zayn made his comeback. The incredible victory for Zayn was his peak moment in WWE and Owens had his best overall match here as well.