Monday Night Raw (May 18, 2015): The John Cena U.S. Open Challenge was interrupted by the NXT Champion, Kevin Owens. While there was no match between the two men that night, Kevin Owens made an emphatic statement by laying out the biggest star in the industry. Kevin Owens came to start a fight and with great arrogance and anger, intended to win that fight.
Elimination Chamber (May 31, 2015): The official WWE debut of Kevin Owens, who was one-on-one against John Cena; Champion vs. Champion. The stage was set as Kevin Owens would burst through the curtain like a savage, ready and willing to rip John Cena apart limb-from-limb, no mercy for the leader of the Cenation. Time-and-time again it would appear as though John Cena would put Kevin Owens away, but the man with a chip on his shoulder would not allow those shoulders to be pinned and would certainly not tap to the STF. The squared-circle-war which was waged between John Cena and Kevin Owens would come to an end via a Pop-Up Powerbomb. Kevin Owens had defeated the biggest star in WWE.
This was is many ways a victory equivalent of winning a match at WrestleMania. In his debut match, Kevin Owens didn't just squash some jobber or beat-up on a mid-card superstar. Kevin Owens came to take on the man and wrestling world be damned, Kevin Owens beat the man (Yes, that line is a Ric Flair reference). Kevin Owens is suddenly a big player on the scene, the new face that everybody is staring at and wondering: “who is Kevin Owens?”
This article will help those who may not be familiar with the John Cena Slayer get to know him a little better. Kevin Steen (real name) may be considered a “rookie” in WWE but Steen is already a season veteran of the wrestling industry. Kevin Steen has traveled the long road of the independent circuit; paying his dues and earning his stripes through each and every hard mile. The name Kevin Steen had long been a staple among the internet wrestling community but know the name Kevin Owens is about to reach the worldwide wrestling audience.
These are the top 15 little-known facts about Kevin Owens:
15 Ring of Honor
The wrestling junkie will already know all about Kevin Owens and the time he spent in Ring of Honor. If you are this type of fiend, move on to the next entry; this is for the casual fan who may not be fully aware of Kevin Owens' past.
Performing under his real name, Kevin Steen, the man we now know as Kevin Owens was once a major figure on the Ring of Honor scene. Kevin Steen would capture the ROH World Championship – joining the ranks of many great wrestlers.
14 DVD Collection
The WWE Home Video collection is packed with great compilations of the greatest superstars in the history of professional wrestling. These videos are well-made and usually make for an entertaining watch, especially for those fans who love the behind-the-scenes aspect of the business.
Kevin Owens may be years away from having his own DVD released through WWE Home Video – and if all continues, his path should lead to such compilations. However, Kevin Steen has already been the subject of four DVD releases courtesy of ROH: Kevin Steen: Ascension to the Top … Kevin Steen: Descent into Madness … Kevin Steen: Hell Rising … Thanks Steen Thanks. You can pick those up here.
13 D.I.Y. Merchandise Man
The independent wrestling circuit can be a brutal way to make a living. These performers scratch at eyeballs for every single dollar earned. The independent formula is unlike the big-machine formula of WWE, where merchandise is made and sold on your behave.
Borrowing a page out of the book of Colt Cabana, Kevin (Owens) Steen would manufacture and sell his own t-shirts at independent events – proving that the do-it-yourself method can still earn a man a solid buck on the smaller stage.
12 Quebec Living
The following fact comes from a native Quebecer, so take it at face value. Kevin Steen grew up in Marieville, Quebec – a small, French-speaking city East of Montreal and like most kids growing up in Canada's most controversial province, Steen would become heavily involved in a variety of sports such as hockey, soccer, and baseball.
This fact may be more of a generalization of the young Quebec male but Steen certainly lived by this unwritten rule in his youth. The rule that Hockey is Holy but come summer, we take to the field and enjoy the few short months of warmth. Of course, Steen would not pursue any of these sports as a love for wrestling was soon to develop.
Which is another piece of the Quebec fabric. Professional wrestling is loved throughout this province and if it isn't a hockey stick or a baseball bat, then it's time to rumble.
11 History with Sami Zayn
The storyline involving Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn on NXT programming is once again an example of a wrestling angle blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. The stories about Owens and Zayn being best friends are completely true.
Sami Zayn, whose real name is Rami Sebei once worked under the wrestling moniker, El Generico. Much like his friend. Sebei was a longtime rider of the independent rodeo. Kevin Steen and El Generico once worked together as as tag team – capturing gold on multiple occasion. However, it was Kevin Steen vs. El Generico that really made for great action.
These two men have been doing battle for years and now their rivalry has made its way into the WWE Universe.
10 Weight Issues
Taking one look at Kevin Owens and it is fairly obvious that the man is not a body builder or complete muscle-head. Owens doesn't fit the “typical wrestler” description, which is a good thing as it is becoming more and more common to not look like a jacked-up-jackass.
When Steen was in the midst of contact troubles with Ring of Honor, he was pulled out of events and sent home. The unresolved issues concerning his return to the promotion would leave Steen feeling unhappy, as such he would turn to food and balloon close to three-hundred pounds, which he discuss in the Kevin Steen: Hell Rising DVD.
Now working for WWE, Kevin Owens is about thirty pounds lighter and while his gut is still evident, in a strange way, it adds to the charm of Kevin Owens.
9 Nagging Knee
The injuries sustained by professional wrestlers are often life-altering. The hard-luck-days of travel and competition have caught up to the hottest WWE superstar of the past few years: Daniel Bryan. The future remains uncertain for Bryan and it's a terrible shame.
Early on in his career, Kevin (Owens) Steen suffered a knee injury that would require surgery. The knee injury would eventually make its way into an ROH storyline that involved the possibility of Steen retiring from the business. Steen, who was in fine health, would turn heel instead; pulling a fast one on the fans.
While working in NXT; Owens would again require knee surgery, a minor operation that has not done anything to slow down the momentum of Kevin Owens. Hopefully down the road, Kevin Owens does not suffer the same fate as Daniel Bryan.
8 Heat with Jim Cornette
When Jim Cornette began booking in Ring of Honor, he immediately took a disliking to Kevin Steen. Cornette was not a fan of his disheveled look and grungy ring attair, his physic, or his performance style where Steen would insist on crashing and burning through tables and such.
Kevin Steen has been vocal about his feelings towards Jim Cornette, feeling as though Cornette was attempting to hold him down or freeze him out of the promotion. Following the Monday Night Raw debut of Kevin Owens and his program with John Cena, Jim Cornette would admit that he was wrong about the superstar. Of course, not without a little added Jim Cornette snark.
7 Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla is a wrestling promotion that started in 2003 and is run by professional wrestlers, which throws away all conventional booking methods as well as the promoter/performer dynamic. PWG attempts to walk with its own stride.
The promotion has served as a launching pad for two future WWE Champions: CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, as well as the NXT Champion, Kevin Owens. While working for PWG, Owens really found his footing as a professional wrestler which would help him make his way to ROH and eventually WWE.
6 Sweet 16 in a Wrestling Ring
The wrestling business is a cruel and unusual business, a place where a person must be slightly or full-blown insane to think about making a living bouncing around a ring and actually allowing another human being to kick the hell out of your body.
On May 7th, 2000 – on his sixteenth birthday, according to Slam! – Kevin Steen would participate in his very first wrestling match in L'Assomption, Quebec. Steen had been training with French-Canadian wrestler, Jacques Rougeau and from that first night, would never look back.
5 Owen Hart Appreciation
Kevin Owens has a deep respect for professional wrestling, which is what all performers should have, but unfortunately many do not. Bill Goldberg, for example, was certainly not a massive wrestling fan yet he turned out to be one of the biggest stars in WCW. This goes to show how certain things work in this world.
Kevin Owens would show his deep appreciation for the business by naming his first-born son after the late Owen Hart. Presumably his WWE surname is also a reference to the King of Harts. It is obvious that Kevin Owens bleeds deep for professional wrestling – a quality that lacks in many superstars and a quality that is needed during this period of decline.
4 Like Father, Like Son
Owen Steen, who we just alluded to in the previous entry, may be a very young child but he has already seen some in-ring action – at the tender age of six-months. During an event in 2008;,Owen Steen was incorporated into an angle along with his father.
Excalibur, one of the six wrestlers who own PWG, would call the baby “ugly” thus leading to a physical onslaught from his father, according to 411Mania. Kevin Steen would take out Excalibur with a series of finishing maneuvers before placing his son Owen atop Excalibur for the unofficial victory.
Owen Steen was also mentioned in a promo cut by Kevin Owens on Monday Night Raw where he spoke of his son being a fan of John Cena.
3 Endorsed by Stone Cold Steve Austin
What more could a young man, whose main dream is to become a professional wrestler,ask for than an endorsement from Stone Cold Steve Austin? In fact, during a chance encounter years priorm Stone Cold would provide Kevin Steen with some sound advice.
Stone Cold, a master at the art of trash-talking, would tell a young up-and-coming Kevin Steen to quote: “never stop running your mouth, kid.” Listening to Kevin Owens speak nowadays, it is obvious that he took that advice to heart.
Stone Cold Steve Austin said on his podcast that the WWE should take a look at Kevin Steen before they ever decided to give him a shot. Perhaps Austin should be involved in the future hiring process at WWE.
2 Learned English from Listening to Jim Ross
Learning a second language can prove to be a difficult task. Quebec being home to Kevin Steen, which is a predominantly French-speaking province, he would need to learn English if he really wanted to make it as a professional wrestler.
Well, thanks to the greatest announcer of all time, Jim Ross; Steen was able to pick up on the language from listening to JR call matches, according to Colt Cobana. Kevin Steen is now fully bilingual thanks to terms like “slobber-knocker” and “getting whopped like a government mule.”
1 Top Champion Material
Kevin Owens is the future of WWE. The journey has just begun but Owens has all the credentials necessary to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The star quality of Kevin Owens has been recognized by a number of different promotions which would use Kevin Steen as their top champion:
All American Wrestling: One-Time AAW Heavyweight Champion.
Elite Wrestling Revolution: Two-Time EWR Heavyweight Champion.
International Wrestling Syndicate: Three-Time IWS World Heavyweight Champion.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla: Three-Time PWG World Champion.
Ring of Honor: One-Time ROH World Champion.
Kevin Owens has already captured the biggest prize in NXT, can the WWE World Heavyweight Championship be next? Time will tell as Kevin Owens will continue to do what he does best: FIGHT OWENS FIGHT.