Hi everyone. In a kinda tribute to Kevin Owens’ latest heel turn, I’d like to look back on his devious history. It’s not the first time he’s turned on someone after pretending to be their friend, and I’m betting it won’t be the last. Here’s five reasons why we should never trust KO, no matter how long he may seem genuine. To understand how long he’s been doing this, we have to go as far back as thirteen years ago.
1. Best Friends Forever
In 2006, Kevin Steen began teaming with the masked Sami Zayn; who was known as the masked luchador El Generico. Throughout the year, they fought for the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Tag Team Championships, but did not find success. After over a year of hard work, they finally claimed the titles from Pac & Roderick Strong. It was well-received by fans, but the dream only lasted a few short months before losing the titles to Davey Richards & Super Dragon. Generico must have picked up an injury, as Steen teamed up with Pac in their unsuccessful return match.
The team returned to PWG in 2008, immediately claiming back the titles from The Dynasty. Like no other team before them, they decided to defend the championship in the annual Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament. This meant each match was for the title, and they made it all the way to the finals before losing out to Jack Evans & Roderick Strong. It was understandable though, as Steen had been offered a contract by Ring Of Honor and he could not work for both promotions.
While in ROH they continued teaming together, despite Steen working as a heel while Generico played a face. They had plenty of opportunities to become champions, but for one reason or another they kept coming up short. But alas, after many difficult months, they finally made it by defeating The Age of the Fall to claim the ROH titles. They fought hard, and held on for almost five months before dropping them to The American Wolves.
After the loss, the team endured tough times through 2009. At the back-end of the year, during ROH’s first live PPV (Final Battle), Steen & Generico went up against The Young Bucks. You can view the match and its aftermath in the videos below. It marked the beginning of something special. A betrayal which remains lodged in the memories of all those who followed their careers to that point. Why Kevin!? Why!?
2. Does Not Play Well With Others
One thing was certain upon his debut on WWE’s NXT. Going by the new name Kevin Owens (in tribute to his son and Owen Hart), he expressed resentment for former friends & rivals who signed with WWE years before him. What was unclear though? Was his relationship status with Sami Zayn.
Having recently won the NXT Championship, KO congratulated his former tag team partner .. before unleashing a vicious beating, with the powerbomb on the ring apron being the exclamation point. At NXT TakeOver: Rival, the referee stopped the bout between Owens & Zayn, awarding the title to KO due to Zayn being physically destroyed. Owens was the new NXT Champion, a monster of a human being with zero remorse. He only cared for himself, and his approach never changed.
When he was promoted to the main roster, KO established himself quickly against the likes of John Cena. After finding some success as the Intercontinental Champion, KO found himself resigned to tag matches. But he doesn’t like teaming up, so he often walked out on partners (like Rusev) as they weren’t worth his time. You’re usually better off in a handicap match if KO is your partner, unless he’s got something to gain from it. After years of teaming with Sami, his lack of care for tag team wrestling makes sense.
3. No One’s Safe
When Owens began terrorizing Shane McMahon, instead of letting them get on with it .. Vince McMahon decided to share the ring with him. He talked about Owens having respect for authority, in which he agreed. Things turned sour fast, as Mr. McMahon not only reminded Owens he got his ass handed to him by Shane, but also how tough it is to respect himself when he looks in the mirror (fat joke).
Vince carried on threatening his job, and if he did take him to court he would lose because he’s never lost a case! Kevin asked Vince if he had his permission to attack a McMahon if provoked; which the chairman accepted. In typical KO fashion, he twisted Vince’s words by using his permission to headbutt him in the face. This is a prime example of how it pays to be careful with your wording .. as Kevin can, and will, twist things to suit his intentions.
4. Festival Of Friendship
In one of the best executed segments in recent history, Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens created an incredible moment. The difference with KO & Y2J (compared to he & Zayn) was they really suited each other. Both being mega Canadian heels, it made sense for Owens to respect Jericho and learn everything he could from the veteran. Beginning in 2016, Jericho & Owens teamed up together to take out SAWFT, as well as co-captain the Raw Survivor Series team. They didn’t win, but their friendship blossomed from its aftermath.
For months there was speculation over the duo .. when would KO turn on him? Although there were some questionable actions from both, along with several teases of a breakup, KO & Y2J continued trolling the WWE Universe with their friendship. It got to the point fans stopped speculating, as WWE teased the breakup enough times to fool them in to thinking they were in it for the long haul.
In 2017, the cracks began forming when Y2J got too clingy. To Jericho, their friendship was like a bromance. Each week he shared his feelings publicly, embarrassing KO as his strong, overbearing feelings escalated. Jericho wanted to do something special for his buddy, so he invited him to the “Festival Of Friendship”. And it wasn’t just about the turn, but the way KO revealed his intentions which made it magical. So superbly executed, it’s probably worth another watch if it’s been a while.
5. The Inevitable
You have to admit .. it did make The New Day look really naive. Anyone aware of KO’s history, knows he does not care for anyone else. He cares for family first, and winning titles second. So to assume he wanted to be friends? They should pay better attention. And I’m guessing many were expecting a long, drawn out storyline for months where KO essentially replaces Big E in The New Day before the big reveal?
Yet, we didn’t get that. We got a couple of weeks of “Big O”, before Kevin turned on his new friends. It was nice while it lasted, but the past has shown it was only a matter of time. WWE could’ve drawn it out, but I think they got the timing right. I especially liked that they had Kevin & Xavier doing commentary together the same night. What they did here, was show KO’s unpredictable. Had he kept playing the part, the fans would’ve pointed out how “predictable” it was. So to do it so soon? Showed he can turn on anyone anytime, and we shouldn’t dare to predict when.
I don’t usually make articles highlighting the career of one individual, but the inevitable turn made me feel like looking back on his history. There’s so many examples of his untrustworthy nature, and I’d appreciate more of his classic moments being shared with everyone. I know we have many KO fans, and 2019 could be his year. Owens could become the face of Smackdown, holding the WWE Championship with his brutal & merciless nature. Competition is fierce, but if there’s one thing a champion needs? It’s character .. which has in abundance.
If Daniel Bryan is likely to be sitting on the sidelines (concussion?), we should fully expect Kevin Owens to be the top heel of Smackdown Live. Do you believe he will? Please let me know your thoughts on his character, and if you think he can dominate Smackdown Live. Thanks for reading guys! Always appreciated.