Kevin Steen, the name on his birth certificate and the identity he used when tearing up independent rings around the world with or without everyone’s favorite luchador, El Generico, was Kevin Owens’ previous stage before becoming Kevin Owens: WWE Superstar.
Before formally joining the WWE in 2014, Owens had run in Ring of Honor, CZW, New Japan pro wrestling, and even Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, where he wrestled 109 matches and was a member of the Mount Rushmore stable with Adam Cole and the Young Bucks, Nick and Matt Jackson.
He also worked for what feels like the majority of independent promotions across the professional wrestling world. Owens worked a total of 756 matches before joining WWE, many of which were for obscure promotions that may no longer even exist.
He won 21 different championships for his efforts, but now that he’s “made it big,” the independents are just a distant memory, isn’t it? Oh my goodness, Owens is the sixth-ever NXT Champion, a three-time United States Champion, a former Universal Champion, a two-time IC Champion, and a former Universal Champion; why would he be concerned about the kids flying 1500 miles for $15, a hot dog, and a handshake?
However, when speaking with Corey Graves on After the Bell, according to Fightful, Owens not only praised his independent roots but also implied that now more than ever, an independent run would be in the works now that Paul “Triple H” Levesque is in charge of the WWE.
“I have a strong foundation in the independent scene. I grew up there and still have a tonne of pals there. I’d love to perhaps make an appearance again on a few indie companies that are still very close to my heart, whether it’s for a match or a promo. I’ve always kind of thought, “Hey dude, it’d be really awesome if I got to do that one day,” about the things on that list over the years. It seems more likely than ever right now. Although it doesn’t necessarily imply it will, it feels possible right now.
Could there ever be a time when Kevin Owens, or perhaps Kevin Steen, graces an independent ring once more to the roar of fans? Even though it seems improbable, Shinsuke Nakamura is scheduled to perform in Japan at Pro Wrestling Noah for The Great Muta’s final leg of his run.
The Good Brothers—Doc Gallows and “Machine Gun” Karl “Bright Lights” Anderson—will be making an appearance in New Japan Pro Wrestling later this month—so anything is possible. If that occurs, then, just perhaps, fans will witness the Mount Rushmore reunion in a PWG Ring. This would be a reunion in more ways than one, as Cole hasn’t competed in the now-Los Angeles-based promotion since 2017, while The Jacksons haven’t competed in the organization since 2018.
Kevin Owens Sets the Record Straight on Sami Zayn After WWE Survivor Series.
In other parts of his conversation with Graves, KO was questioned about his friendship with Sami Zayn at Survivor Series and how their relationship has developed since they first collaborated 20 years ago.
As Owens added, “We’ve actually supported each other throughout our careers, but we’ve undoubtedly also held each other back due to this continual pairing in people’s thoughts. “In 2017, he and I were perceived by others as being completely united. For instance, even though I had nothing to do with it, if he received criticism backstage for something, I would also receive it. I hardly participated in something that got us both kicked off a tour of Europe once. I don’t think either of us really had anything to be blamed for it.
“I believe that he is thriving and that it is time to call it quits. I really did mean it when I said on Monday that I could see the Sami Zayn I’ve known for 20 years.
Did Owens feel betrayed after Zayn “split the uprights” at Survivor Series with a well-placed punch, allowing Jey Uso to perform the Samoan Splash that won WarGames?
In reference to Zayn’s performance at Survivor Series, Owens remarked, “You know, he actually didn’t even betray me, he just helped his team win and he decided to do it in a messed up way.” “As I stated on Monday, with everything I’ve done to him, I really can’t really blame him,”
Could Owens and Zayn reunite in a WWE arena at some point, perhaps to take on The Usos for one or both of the WWE Tag Team Champions Belts at WrestleMania 39? Only time will tell, but it’s difficult to ever truly close the door one way or the other when you’ve shared the ring with another talent 370 times.