They tried to make him hated by having him destroy NXT’s top babyface. They tried to turn him into a cowardly heel, more focused on getting out of danger when the going gets tough. They tried to make John Cena bury him after a memorable feud. The truth is, all of this has worked in Kevin Owens’ favour, making him the best damn thing about WWE right now, no matter how Creative try to book him.
Just listen to the crowd’s reaction whenever his music drops – it’s probably the loudest in the company. Even if the angles are never quite there, Kevin Owens is going to elicit a voracious response from the fans. He is a wrestler on the up; fully deserved after a long and decorated career on smaller promotions. In my eyes, he is The Next Big Thing™ in WWE and should be around the main event card for years to come.
Not a convert to KOMania? Here are five reasons why Kevin Owens should be your new favourite performer in an arbitrary list format. You knew what this was when you clicked it.
1. He Rocks the Goddamn Microphone
WWE probably boasts the best array of mic-workers now than it ever has in its history. Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Chris Jericho, The New Day, and Dolph Ziggler are some of the most accomplished, but my money has to go on Owens as being the champion of the mic.
His promos are unlike many others; sarcastic but not cheesy, aggressive but restrained. He has always been a fantastic talker, but with a nudge from Creative, he’s become the best since a certain Chicago native left the company under controversial circumstances.
2. He Can Goddamn Wrestle
Years spent on smaller promotions have honed Owens’ craft to a fine degree, making his matches eclectic and varied. They seldom follow a routine, something that’s annoyingly a pattern with a guy who isn’t actually related to The Rock. From one Owens match to the next, you never know what he’s going to bring out of his repertoire.
I hate to chirrup what many say, but he sure can go for a big guy, sometimes looking like he might have been a cruiserweight in a previous life. The fact that many can look past his less than Herculean physique and forget all about it within a few minutes of actually watching him compete is a testament to his talent.
3. He Is Ripping Up Vince Goddamn McMahon’s Guidebook
If you know WWE and the demented Phantom of the Opera twitching behind the curtain who pulls the strings, you know that it has almost always wanted its wrestlers to be posterboys. Rippling, homo-erotic muscles and twenty abs per inch of stomach is how Vince McMahon dreams his performers to be, but Kevin Owens is showing just how outdated that notion is.
Compare him to Roman Reigns in almost every aspect and there’s only one winner: Kevin Owens. He’s a better wrestler, he’s a better talker, he has more charisma; the list goes on. Sure, Kevin Owens might never become the face of Make-A-Wish or be the posterboy that makes casual female supporters go all trembly in the ladygarden, but he doesn’t need to be. He’s Kevin Owens.
4. He Hates Michael Goddamn Cole
Michael Cole is the worst. The absolute worst. I can’t remember if there was ever a time when he wasn’t just a skittish mess of awkward advertisement segues and simply banal commentary, but he is definitely becoming worse as the years go by.
Owens, realising that Cole is no smark’s favourite, has picked the human exclamation apart almost immediately following his debut on the main roster. It’s pure gold whenever the two interact with each other, whether it’s an interview segment or Owens blaring at Cole that he should “watch this”. Hell, if they run out of things for Owens to do, how about he breaks Michael Cole’s undefeated Wrestlemania streak?
That’s a joke. Please don’t do that, WWE.
5. His Goddamn Entrance Theme
If listening to Fight doesn’t make you want to climb Mount Olympus and throw Zeus off by the scruff of his beard, there’s a good chance you’re dead. It’s a heavy, filthy bit of rock that instantly pumps you up for what’s to come, bolstered by Owens’ cocky, assured entrance itself.
It’s also one of those rare themes that can be appreciated outside of the world of wrestling. As a standalone song, Fight is the perfect accompaniment to exercise or when you have to work up the courage to tell your boss to go suck an anus.