Since I’ve seen at least one episode of WWE television, and I possess a moderate amount of taste, I think Kevin Owens is simply the tits. Whatever role the man is playing on screen, whatever feud he’s shoved into or title scene he’s aiming for, he always puts on bangers.
In WWE’s overproduced bright lights big squared circle, he nails a quality many struggle to communicate onscreen; he’s genuine. There’s that intangible quality in his promos, even the way he moves and wrestles in the ring, that’s endeared him to fans for over a decade. You can’t help but root for him, because even when he’s obnoxious, even when he’s rude and cheating and destroying a friendship yet again by beating up Sami Zayn, he feels real. Maybe it’s the perpetual five o’clock shadow, maybe it’s the heartfelt promos, but he just comes across as a guy who is simply busting his ass for what he wants. And right now, what he wants is a run at the WWE title.
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Last week on Raw, Owens interrupted an irate Seth Rollins and a very chill Big E to make his case for a title match. Longtime viewers can recall that Owens lost that opportunity to a sneaky Rollins a few weeks ago in a ladder match, but KO wanted to fight anyway. It doesn’t matter who wears the deep fried suits or who wins the number one contender match, he’s going to come out and kick ass for the whole country of Canada. He challenged Big E for a title match right then and there, which the champ was eager to accept. Seth was also jazzed by the idea, and I certainly can’t blame him. It was the first time these two went one on one, and it did not disappoint.
Kevin Owens Never Disappoints, But Should
Of course, putting on good matches has never been the problem for Kevin Owens. Neither is gaining audience support. In fact, despite whatever curveballs WWE has dealt over his time with them, KO has managed to turn out one of the WWE’s most consistent runs. And with the uncertainty of the pro wrestling world right now, who knows where Owens may be next year. He himself said whether he’s “[in WWE] for three more months or three more years,” he’ll continue to give it his all, fighting until his very last day.
But I would argue that at this moment in time, the man should actually give us less.
Before the match with Big E, Rollins approached Kevin to offer up a little quid pro quo. He suggested that the two work out a deal to ruin E’s Monday night, since Kevin didn’t seem to be rolling so hot on his own. Owens shot the Messiah down faster than a floor ambassador at any store that isn’t Top Shop, but I’d argue Rollins made some fair points. Where has “Fight Owens Fight” gotten the man? Bangers on SmackDown, excellent promos on Raw—and not a whole lot else to show for it.
The finish to E vs Owens came after brief interference from Rollins, where a momentarily confused Owens tried to capitalize and failed. E still got the win -as he should- but Owens’ moral compass was shook. He ended the show calling Rollins a bitch before laying down the challenge for next week, while trying to placate a distrustful Big E. This week, KO dealt Seth the ass kicking he deserved, but he threw in a little extra something for us. After failing to beat the count back to the ring due to accidentally running into the brick wall that is Big E, Owens went ballistic with an attack on the champ. Poor E ate some steel steps and a powerbomb on the apron as Kevin lost it. Now, laying hands on Big E is certainly cause enough for some intense booing, and it seems we’ve got a real heel on our hands. Who knows what kind of KO we’ll see next week? Personally, I hope it’s the absolute worse version.
KO at His Worst
Big E, champion of my heart and of WWE, has several opponents stacked up at the moment. There’s Seth Rollins, who holds a championship opportunity that’ll be busted out whenever Raw needs the ratings boost. There’s the looming big dog shadow of Roman Reigns, who will see E at Survivor Series this month. I’ve already fantasy booked my hearts desire for the end of November.
But Owens is more of an afterthought than anything else now. And that’s fine, no one can main-event every show every night, except Miz on Dancing With the Stars. But if Kevin continues like this, being great at wrestling and very likable as a person, there’s not gonna be a lot of wiggle room for him in the title scene. Rollins does nasty better than almost anyone, and Reigns has a face so handsome you just wanna slap it. And that’s before you get into any cousin abusing business. So, just where does KO fit in?
Right now, the answer is nowhere notable. The Owens who performs well day in and day out needs to take at least a couple weeks off. Instead, I propose we get a load of a Kevin Owens who absolutely sucks. Even more than beating up a beloved champion and potentially ripping his metallic singlet. This guy has to be just terrible. Now, this is going to be hard, since all of Kevin’s instincts tell him to be good at wrestling. And even when he’s a heel, at least throughout his time in WWE, he’s still good in the ring. But he’s gotta clamp down on that and refuse to deliver even one good match up. The cool, tough French-Canadian needs to take a backseat to the worst guy in line ahead of you at Tim Horton’s. A guy who gives no shits about being good at wrestling or being the face who runs the place, so long as he holds a title at the end of the day.
The Prizefighter, as beloved as he is, isn’t the guy to go up against Big E right now. He’d turn out good matches, but we’ve watched Raw piss away good matches for over 25 years now. We don’t need someone who can give us a good match—hell, Big E could have a decent match with my 16 year old cousin. We need the absolute worst version of Kevin to face the powerhouse of positivity. This guy needs to suck mentally, physically, and spiritually. It’ll be difficult to stomach, but I know in my gut that Owens can pull it off. And when he not-so-respectfully eats yet another Big Ending to solidify the champ, it’ll be a killer performance.