WWE Backstage looks back on John Cena VS Kevin Owens!
It all started with John Cena’s WWE United States Open Challenge streak, and Monday Night Raw on May 18, 2015. Another open challenge was issued, and the Prizefighter came out. The then NXT Champion took it to the WWE United States Champion with a Pop-Up Powerbomb, a stomp on the US title belt, and KO saying “You Can’t See Me.”
Kevin speaks on that moment himself, saying it was “so striking” in how sudden it was. He’d just started in NXT and then he shows up on Raw to go toe-to-toe with Cena. This would lead us to a match at that year’s Elimination Chamber PPV on May 31. Kevin was still NXT Champion and as Cena’s music came on and the fans fired up, Kevin was ready to prove why he deserves to be in the WWE. Kevin pulled out move after move, and even stole some of Cena’s moves. Fans who didn’t know KO before this started to get on his side, and then Kevin WINS! Cena fans were shocked to say the least, but Kevin was vindicated.
“I’m the man who started a fight with John Cena, and I’m also the man who finished a fight with John Cena.” That moment is still huge, but it was the perfect way for Kevin to start his WWE career.
Renee and Paige discuss Kevin Owens.
The Glampire has a similar path to the WWE, with being a champion in NXT then making a main roster debut. Paige getting the nod to take on AJ Lee, everyone knows that story, especially if you watched Fighting with My Family. But Paige teases JBL for being the NXT General Manger who insisted she be stripped of her NXT Women’s Championship after she won the WWE Diva’s title. But that big win was even bigger given how NXT wasn’t nearly as powerful as it is now. She and Kevin were each flag bearers for that little brand and wanted to show what NXT was about. Winning was just the cherry on top.
Booker and the boys discuss Elimination Chamber.
With the PPV coming back around this Sunday, four men who have been in their own Chamber matches discuss that grueling match. Booker coming from WCW, he wasn’t used to big, big gimmick matches. But he was in the original Elimination Chamber match, it was a big experiment, and he felt like a crash test dummy. The chains, the grates, “miles” of steel, falling down on the steel was painful. Booker got claustrophobic being in the pod, too! Henry, too! Finally, something in common.
Henry says he still feels his first Chamber match. That double suplex to the outside, his back was just hurting like never before. They’re not lying about how the Chamber is unforgiving. You come out different than going in. JBL prayed his pod gets stuck so he wouldn’t have to compete. He remembers a fan trolling, “JBL, you fatass! What’re you doing in Elimination Chamber?” “I don’t know! I don’t want to be here.” Booker says the Chamber is better for smaller guys like Jeff. JBL says big guys like him, Booker and Henry, “We’re like the Hindenburg.”
Jeff loved it, though. He was hoping his particular Chamber experience would’ve been DELETED but oh well. His one big idea was to go up the center of that ceiling. He didn’t risk it, though. JBL figures if Jeff says it’s impossible, then it really is impossible. Booker says Chamber matches are truly rough. Jeff is a special type of guy to be alright after that match, but Booker says he does not like it at all. Many have made careers but also left pieces of themselves in that match. Henry says there is nothing like the Chamber. We’ve all seen Steel Cage matches, and even WarGames or Hell in a Cell. But the Elimination Chamber, everyone who goes through that, when you talk to them after, they never want another one of those. First timers only.
JBL remembers in his Chamber match, watching the late, great Umaga crawling on the grate while JBL was still in the pod. Umaga’s feet were hurting, since of course he wrestled barefoot. If a guy as tough as Umaga is hurting, JBL didn’t want out of the pod. Jeff himself was tentative, so that told JBL even more so not to leave his pod. Booker says expect the unexpected. What can we expect from the 2020 edition of both the PPV and the Elimination Chamber match?