Craig Wilson, Jamie Lithgow & Brian Damage
Since debuting on our screens in the US Open Challenge, NXT champion Kevin Owens has racked up a big, and clean, win over John Cena. Is the former Kevin Steen destined then for greatness? That’s the topic discussed in this week’s Sunday Sermon.
Craig: This is quite the age old discussion about Kevin Owens and has been doing the rounds since well before he even joined the company. In fact, it was a point that many thought would stop him even making it to the WWE.
What’s been abundantly clear in recent months is that the WWE certainly have some faith in him to succeed. After all, not only is he NXT champion and a focus point of that show but he’s already engaged in a high profile feud with John Cena featuring a clean pinfall win at Elimination Chamber.
Sure, he doesn’t fit the traditional mould of a WWE superstar but isn’t that a good thing anyway? So, does Owens’ impact since debuting answer every questions about whether his look will stop him reaching the top or are there still some lingering concerns?
Jamie: Am I right in saying that before Owens the last person to cleanly defeat Cena was Daniel Bryan? Before that, CM Punk? Not bad company to be found in. That says a lot for Owens’ future. I can’t see him being squandered after a few months of facing Cena, like so many before him. Even better is that he’s a heel, so will not have to make do with playing second fiddle to Cena either.
In terms of his look, I don’t see it as an issue. He’s not the kind of guy that will replace Cena as face of the company. He’s a no nonsense heel, he doesn’t need to look like a superhero to cement a spot at the top table in WWE.
On a personal note, it’s good to see some diversity among wrestlers. The likes of Owens, Wyatt, Neville and now even Samoa Joe will make the product and characters more relatable. There’s only so many 6’4″ jacked guys we can handle before we get bored of seeing the same thing.
Brian: I think the days of muscle bound genetic freaks for the WWE went out in the 80’s and 90’s. Fans are smarter now…they don’t necessarily judge a wrestler by his looks but rather his abilities and that is a very good thing. Kevin Owens has all the tools to be big time. He is extremely believable in his role as a brash, no nonsense tough guy.
Jamie: Fans have most certainly moved on, but how far has Vince McMahon moved on? Triple H may be the heir apparent, but by all accounts Vinnie Mac still has the final say on all things WWE. Given that the 6’3″, 265lbs Roman Reigns had a rocket strapped to his back a few months ago I’d suggest that old habits may die hard.
While there’s no doubt that Owens is highly thought of, what would happen if he finds himself directly in the path of the next prototypical WWE star in the midst of a monster a push?
Oh, I also forgot that Brock Lesnar cleanly defeated Cena last year. Still, not bad company for Owens to be in…
Brian: You are absolutely right about Vince McMahon…but at the end of the day…the WWE fans decide what they like or dislike and because of that…McMahon has been known to change course…ie Daniel Bryan last year and Seth Rollins this year. Kevin Owens got a big nod of approval from higher up with his win over Cena…so my guess is they have a lot of confidence that he can succeed on the main roster.
Craig: I have to agree with you there, Brian. With Bryan, and Ziggler and Ryder before him, it always felt like the WWE were more listening to the fanbase rather than being keen on the guy, per say. But with Owens it seems that the WWE are backing him too. I’m a big fan of Owens. His look is different but it is his high impact style that really excites me. He needs to keep beating Cena. If he does that, then it’ll be clear to see just how much faith the WWE have in Kevin Owens.
Brian: The only thing I really don’t like and perhaps this is another topic altogether…I think the NXT guys should be separate from the main roster guys. Kevin Owens should drop the NXT title to someone in NXT and move up permanently. NXT is still a developmental ground and it should be the aspiration of the wrestlers in it…to get the “call up” to the big dance so to speak.
Craig: I’d agree with that to a certain extent but it is also a great advert for NXT….
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.