Kevin Owens was a guest on After the Bell with Corey Graves and as the two talked about his use of the Stunner, Owens shared an interesting story.
Graves said, "In our industry, certain moves are sacred." He then asked Owens if he had to have a conversation with Austin about it. Owens said he talked with Stone Cold way back in 2016 and said Austin was floored that no one had come to ask before. Austin was flattered.
Thinking his powerbomb was getting stale, Owens remembers thinking if he started doing the Stunner, some people would love it and others would hate it, but no one would be indifferent to it. Suggesting that's what equates to longevity in wrestling, he wanted something that everyone would notice, even if they hated him for using it.
Owens asked Steve if he could use it. Thrilled that he was asked, "You want to use it as your finisher? Finally, I can't believe nobody has done this yet." Owens said once he got the go-ahead from Austin, he tried to convince WWE. They weren't on board.
"I tried to go through other channels and was shut down, so I wasn't able to start using it at that point." Essentially, Owens had Steve's blessing for a long time but it wasn't until 2019 that WWE finally said yes.
WWE Should Protect Things That Actually Need Protecting
Both Austin and Owens thought it was silly WWE was letting people use variations of the Stunner in matches but the company wasn't going to let him run with it as a finisher. To Austin, it was and is a finishing move that people shouldn't kick out of. Obviously, WWE sees that too and has now changed their thinking on the subject as they are pushing Owens and his use of the move. I just took a while.
Owens said, "It's been great to be able to use it, but more than anything, it's great to have Steve's blessing."