Kevin Owens has taken the long road to become the WWE’s second-ever Universal Champion. It is a road that started with the independent wrestling circuits, finally culminating for him when he arrived at WWE NXT just over two years ago. A litany of achievements have taken place since then.
Until the August 29th episode of “WWE Monday Night Raw”, Kevin Owens’ greatest WWE accomplishment was cleanly defeating all-time great (courtesy of Bleacher Report) John Cena at “Elimination Chamber” last year. Kevin Owens went on to show everyone who had not watched him in any of his previous stops that it is not about how you look, but how well you perform.
If you are an avid wrestling fan then you already know that Kevin Owens fits the look of the everyday man. He is not overtly muscular, he does not have six-pack abs, and he is missing the All-American pedigree that many of the WWE superstars have attached to their names. Kevin Owens is a wrestler, simple and plain, and he is great at what he does. This includes his ability to talk on the microphone. The latter had to play a huge role in the WWE’s decision to put Owens in the position to fight for a title shot in the first place.
— VICE Sports (@VICESports) September 4, 2016
Kevin Owens is the Universal Champion for now. There are a few people who are upset about it. Perhaps the most prominent name to be bothered by a Kevin Owens’ title reign is former WCW boss Vince Russo. According to 411 Mania, Russo was not impressed by all of what Owens has accomplished.
“If you actually think Kevin Owens won a match last night; I don’t care if you’re 2, I don’t care if you’re 4, I don’t care if you’re 8, I don’t care if you’re freaking 80; if you actually believe the guy won something, I can’t wrap my head around that.”
Russo would continue on ranting about Owens.
“If you are one of these people that [believes] Kevin Owens won a match yesterday, and shoved it up my backside because he is the WWE Universal Champion and I said this about him, and I said that about him, please don’t listen to this show.”
It may have upset Vince Russo that Kevin Owens has become the Universal Champion, but there is nothing he can do about it. Owens is the champ and that may stay the case for awhile.
There are several matches fans will like to see Kevin Owens in as he defend his title. Five fights stand out in particular.
Kevin Owens Versus Dean Ambrose
A champion versus champion match between WWE Champion Dean Ambrose and Universal Champion Kevin Owens would rebuild their rivalry from a year ago. [Photo by Joachim Sielski/Getty Images]A revisiting the rivalry between Owens and Dean Ambrose would be fun. Unfortunately, they both fight on separate shows. Owens is on “Monday Night Raw” while Ambrose competes on “Smackdown Live”. They are both champions, the top guys on their respective shows. Each will have their hands full with the guys on their rosters to face off one more time.
Unless the WWE gets creative this match will never happen in this incarnation of the company. Although, there is a pay-per-view known as “Survivor Series” that takes place in November. Maybe the WWE can pit Owens and Ambrose against each other here somehow.
Kevin Owens Versus Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt versus Kevin Owens would make for an intriguing matchup of style clashes. [Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images]Kevin Owens wrestling Bray Wyatt is enough to make their detractors cringe. Truthfully, they are the same type of wrestler. Neither of them will make the cover of Muscle Fitness magazine. And they do not have to. For the lack of muscular prowess, Owens and Wyatt make it up with their athleticism.
Each WWE superstar takes their chances in the ring. That would translate well if they had to face each other. Would it be pleasing to watch live or on television?
That depends on why you watch wrestling in the first place. If you enjoy watching guys who you could find on the street everyday knock each other’s block off, yes. If you are Vince Russo, well you already know.
Kevin Owens Versus Sami Zayn
Kevin Owens to make his first title defense against Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn at the September 7th WWE live event at The O2 in London.
— Man Like Sami (@ManLikeSami) September 2, 2016
There are some obvious reasons why Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn could restore their beef with one another. This has NXT main event written all over it, except for the fact that the WWE has a chance to do things right.
When Zayn first debuted on the main roster the rivalry was rushed and poorly managed. Each would take turns trying to get an upper hand on the other, but where were the single’s matches to keep things interesting?
There was nothing to sustain any momentum from their NXT battles, leaving many fans curious.
Kevin Owens Versus Brock Lesnar
Would a Brock Lesnar versus Kevin Owens match move the needle? [Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images]Kevin Owens visiting Suplex City may not be what most WWE fans want, but think about the possibilities.
Kevin Owens is likable as a heel, while Brock Lesnar is a perfect anti-hero. Given his size, Owens would present a believable challenge to Lesnar. The former WWE champion has appeared dominant against most of his opponents. Having Owens look strong in the ring facing Lesnar would go a long way in legitimizing the Universal Championship.
Not only is Kevin Owens big, but like most of the top WWE heels, he is crafty. That can be used to keep Brock Lesnar on his toes throughout a match.
Another factor to consider is that Kevin Owens is resilient. Owens is a tough out in every match regardless of the opposition. The WWE has built him as such. And there is no reason to go against here. Conceivably, Lesnar would defeat Owens if they faced one another, but it is time to eliminate the idea of an automatic victory for “The Beast Incarnate”. Lesnar can have his hands full sometimes.
Other possible matchups would also work, including a showdown with Big Cass and Randy Orton. The latter being a passing of the torch type of bout. We will wait and see what the WWE decides to do with Kevin Owens. It is likely that his first title defense will come against Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns.[Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images]