Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Kevin Owens makes RAW debut; lays out John Cena
Do you ever see something that just makes you so happy that you don't know how to describe it? That was an apt way to describe me while watching Kevin Owens make his WWE "main roster" debut during the May 18, 2015, episode of Monday Night Raw.
It is one thing to see a former Ring of Honor star, a former World Champion of that promotion, make his debut and get a little steam and traction for himself. It is another thing altogether to see that star - Kevin Owens - make his debut and talk down to John Cena, the biggest star in WWE for the last 11 years, then beat him up and walk out on top. Not only that, but he was treated like a legitimate star and an equal by the announcers.
Check out this blog I wrote earlier in the year about Owens and Sami Zayn and their rise from ROH to NXT - http://chrisslater.blogspot.com/2015/02/zayn-vs-owens-makes-me-happy.html
I'm excited for where this takes Kevin Owens. From following him over the years, you get a little piece of his real history, and it makes you root for the person behind the character. Kevin Steen is his real name, which he used for the first 15 years of his career. His son is named Owen Steen, after wrestler Owen Hart. Kevin's wrestling name honors two different loves in his life.
Shortly after Owens signed with WWE last year, he did a series of interviews and mentioned that his son was a huge John Cena fan. He told a funny story about going to a WWE live event a few years back and Kevin's son asking if he was going to be wrestling that night. So he mentioned that his son was particularly happy to know that he was going to be a part of WWE.
It was really cool, then, to see a video posted on instagram by Kevin Owens' wife of their son reacting to seeing him on TV challenging Cena. Apparently, they did not tell their son about what was going to happen. He was watching Monday Night Raw like he does every week. Owen Steen saw John Cena come out and and he got excited. Then he saw his dad come out to challenge Cena. That link is here - http://tinyurl.com/m7vhotc
One thing that I've talked about a lot over the last couple years when discussing the success of people like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe, and going further to Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, etc... is that you can tell when somebody is a true star and when the crowd genuinely respects them.
I'm legitimately upset right now that Daniel Bryan is having injury issues and has missed chunks of the last two years. Stephanie McMahon wins media and business awards left-and-right and I don't give a shit, because I don't respect her. Chris Jericho gets cast in a Comedy Central web series and I'm actually happy for him. Randy Orton gets cast in a few WWE movie productions and I roll my eyes.
You can tell when somebody becomes a star by rising through the WWE-controlled bullshit and when that same person is manufactured by "the system." One is respected and the other is just there.
When I saw Kevin Owens come out to challenge John Cena on Monday night, I was actually happy. I smiled. I put my phone down. I watched a person that I care about do something that I know he loves. And it made me feel good.
Here's a link to a Rolling Stone dot com article that profiled Kevin Owens recently. They have a pretty extensive wrestling section online - http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/features/who-is-kevin-owens-the-guy-who-gatecrashed-raw-speaks-20150518
Below, check out some clips of Kevin Steen before he went to WWE and became Kevin Owens: