Wednesday, December 10, 2014

NXT On The Eve of Kevin Owens (Steen)

On the eve of Kevin Owens in the WWE is about as exciting for Kevin Steen fans as Christmas Eve. While the WWE has been taking a deserved butt whipping about a variety of topics of late Kevin Steen’s build up to his debut is not one of them. This has been perhaps one of the best build-ups to the arrival of a NXT wrestler in the short history of the promotion. Part of why that is comes from who Kevin Steen is as a person and a performer.

I heard all the rumors and this past May decided that I owed it to myself to go see Kevin Steen live in both Toronto at ROH’s Global Wars and at an independent show for Alpha-1 Wrestling. I figured this would be the last real chance I would have to go meet a guy that I had enjoyed for many years prior in ROH and PWG. Meeting people you admire is always a big risk you take. Often they don’t live up to the overblown expectations you have of them. Kevin was not one of those experiences. He is a very nice, humble and genuine person. I had a brief interaction with him at the Ring of Honor show. He was kind, generous with his time, and thankful of the fact I thought so much of him. In reality, it was like a two-minute exchange but it made me feel good about supporting this guy. On the next day in Hamilton, I got to have a more lengthy conversation in a smaller setting. He was just as kind with his time and interaction with me. I found myself watching him interact with everyone that day. He was just as gracious with everyone else so it wasn’t anything unique to me. The time he would take with children was the most touching. He himself has a son and recently welcomed a daughter into his family just prior to coming to WWE.

In fact, his son is named after the late Owen Hart and the reason behind his WWE name of Kevin Owens. Steen’s love of his family has always been at the core of his desire to succeed at what he loves being pro wrestling.

The promos he made leading up to his debut illustrate just how much this moment means to him. He summed it up perfectly in saying that 14 years of his wrestling career have been for this moment. He has detailed for people who are not familiar with him how he has been involved with various NXT and WWE stars over the years.

I have until this point described Kevin as this amazing family man that loves wrestling and his fans. Which he is but once he hits that ring he is a wild crazy man that does things for a man of his body type seem impossible. He is never going to win a bodybuilding contest even though he seems to be in great shape for him after being at the performance center since the end of the summer. He is a mad man that inspired his fans to chant Kill Steen Kill. He has a toned down version of Fight Steen Fight and I guess will now be Fight Kevin Fight or Kill Kevin Kill for the hardcore fans.

I thought it was classy of his former company ROH to recognize his departure in the opening to Final Battle this past Sunday. Steve Corino even giving a shout out as well to “Kevin in Orlando” watching the show which knowing Kevin he most definitely was. Kevin is now looking towards his first battle as a part of WWE. Many feel he will some how be involved with his former tag partner and rival Sami Zayn who teamed with Kevin as El Generico for years. They put on a match in ROH called Ladder War that will rival any WWE TLC match you care to compare it too. It makes a lot of sense to make this happen just prior to Zayn likely heading to the main roster.

Court Bauer a former WWE Writer and consultant for ROH currently in talking about Steen called him a mix between Canada’s Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mike Awesome. Steen has just a great ability to connect with people that is something that you just don’t learn at NXT or anywhere. You just have it or you don’t and he has it in large amounts.

Mike Bennett a current ROH wrestler in an interview we did with him said that if Kevin is not a huge success in the WWE it will not be his fault it will be the WWE’s. So far, the WWE and Kevin have worked together and not really changed much about him and created a great platform to introduce him to a much larger WWE Universe. 

If you have never seen Kevin Steen, you are in for a treat. If you have, it appears Kevin Owens will likely not be some great departure from the wrestler you have come to love and enjoy over the years. I firmly believe Kevin Steen will be a success and echo what Michael Bennett said that if he isn’t the WWE will have dropped the ball some how. I have faith though based on the success of Sami Zayn that Kevin will be able to thrive in the WWE system and given the opportunities to do so.

Christmas has come early for Kevin Steen fans on 12/11/14. We are on the Eve of Owens and I can’t wait.