I will be the first to admit that I was wrong and guess what? I was wrong about Kevin Owens. The WWE has shown a commitment to Owens not seen since the Shield and the payoff may be the next elite superstar of the future.
Then came Money in the Bank and “the most anticipated rematch in WWE history” or at least that is what Michael Cole was trying to sell us. Like many, I was concerned. The obvious finish here was Cena going over and history told us that was where this was going to go. Cena did indeed go over but the creative team did a fantastic job of keeping his heat strong. As a matter of a fact look no further than this match as an example of a guy getting hotter with a loss. The match was tremendous and Owens post-match activities at MITB and on RAW have him hotter than anyone could have imagined.
I want to take a step back a second and ask a simple question. Why Owens? With all due respect to Owens, and I really enjoyed working with him in CZW, what is it about Owens that broke the mold? Owens is not the prototypical wrestler by physique that the WWE has and I can’t recall in recent memory a guy wrestling in bike shorts and a t-shirt on RAW. Yet for whatever reason the company is solidly behind Owens and it’s paying off.
Even Rusev’s push pales in comparison to the treatment that Owens is receiving from the creative team. Yes Rusev was kept undefeated but who did he beat? He was beating guys like Jack Swagger and Big E. Langston before he got to Cena. Yet I don’t think anyone could argue that Owens losing to Cena at MITB did much more for him than Rusev’s year of rolling through low-mid card wrestlers. Did they learn from Rusev or is the commitment just that much different when it comes to Owens?
While we have all been preconditioned to what WWE stars are supposed to look like, the bottom line is that variety is good. It’s painfully boring to watch a show where everyone looks, walks, talks, and wrestles the same. Owens is different and different is great, especially in pro wrestling. I have read all kinds of comparisons to Owens in recent weeks but I liken him to one of my favorite wrestlers of all-time, Magnificent Don Muraco. Muraco and Owens had similar physiques and while both were different in the ring, their psychology is eerily similar. In regards to promos I think Muraco is one of the greatest of all-time while Owens has been money in recent weeks. Yet for some reason we haven’t seen many Muracos over the last 20-years and that’s a shame because you are missing out on a guy who sold out many arenas in his day.