Kevin Owens returns to the After The Bell podcast.
Coming off the heels of Survivor Series: WarGames where Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Butch and Ridge Holland took on The Bloodline (Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn, Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa), Owens returned to the WWE After The Bell podcast.
Leading up to the latest Premium Live Event, it was first reported by Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline that Owens was rehabbing a knee injury and his status for WarGames was up in the air.
Owens confirmed the knee issues and said there are other aches and pains that he feels depending on the day.
Owens: I guess I’m fine, I think [Owens responded when asked how he’s feeling physically]. It really changes by the day. You could ask me that question tomorrow and I’m feeling awful but today, I think I’m okay. But I don’t know. I’ll get out of my car and my back could be shot and I’m not aware of it until I start walking. The last few months have been interesting in that aspect. I wake up fine but by 2 o’clock, my knees don’t work. I don’t know, you know what I mean? [Owens laughed] It really hasn’t started hitting me until recently honestly. I’m like, man, just weird aches and pains will come and go but yeah, at this moment, I’m sitting in my truck, I feel great.
My back was really bothering me going into it already [match against Jey Uso on Raw] and then I’ve had the knee issues the last few weeks so, yeah, I went in feeling pretty beat up but just worked out really good and I think everybody really enjoyed the match and so did I so, you know, it’s just nice to walk away from it all with people enjoying what you do.
At WarGames, Owens paid homage to the late Dusty Rhodes with his t-shirt and red elbow pad. Kevin shared that he reached out to Cody Rhodes to see if Cody was okay with his Dusty tribute.
Owens then spoke about his history with Dusty and how much the Hall of Famer influenced him in the time they spent together in NXT.
Owens: It was a real thrill to be a part of it when I did the one in NXT [WarGames], just because it was great to be part of something that Dusty [Rhodes] created, you know? And then to be part of the first one on the main roster and I took the opportunity to wear Dusty’s shirt and the red elbow pad as a tribute to him. I talked to Cody [Rhodes] beforehand, made sure he was cool with it and everything. It’s always kind of need to be able to dive back to history and give Dusty a little nod. I try to do that as much as I can because he was so influential in my career. I really had access to him for a very short time. We’re talking maybe ten months between the time I started in NXT and the time he passed, you know? But man, in those ten months, he really left a mark on me that nobody has. I’ve known people for years and years and years and years in this industry and they haven’t left half the influence on me that Dusty had so anytime I get to do something, like a little shout out to him, I do it so to be part of the first main roster WarGames, be able to do that and then just being part of that match itself, it’s a very exciting concept. Any time there’s something new, it’s great to be a part of it and this was new to a lot of people because it was the first time they got to see it on the main roster. Obviously, not everybody [that] watches the main roster necessarily watches NXT, not everybody knows what WarGames was from all the way back in the day so it was cool to be part of this new concept that a lot of people probably saw for the first time on Saturday.
As the conversation went on, Raw commentator Corey Graves recounted a meeting that was held before Monday Night Raw this week. The topic of WarGames and what can be done to improve the match and the viewing experience was a focus point.
Graves: You’ve [Kevin Owens] competed inside WarGames twice. It was my first time getting to call WarGames. Obviously the first time it happened on the main roster. Monday morning, full disclosure to everybody, Kevin Patrick was there, we had a meeting as we do before Monday Night Raw each and every week and there were questions asked as to how do we improve WarGames, how do we tweak WarGames because this was the first rollout. We got the men’s and the women’s all in the same night. There was a lot happening. It’s very difficult to differentiate two of the same style matches within the same card. Kudos to all 20 people involved because that’s exactly what happened successfully.
It was a very exciting conversation to be a part of because everybody across the board went, ‘Cool. Saturday night was a success. How do we make it better?’
This past Monday on Raw, Kevin Owens confronted members of The Bloodline which led to him having a singles match in the show’s main event against Jey Uso.
Owens touched on the idea of having another program with Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. He feels their story is unfinished and wants to see what they can do in front of a large crowd in comparison to what they did in the ThunderDome.
Owens: I don’t think much has changed honestly [from the feud with Roman Reigns during the ThunderDome era]. I think I was pretty well equipped back then too. It just didn’t work out that way for a multitude of reasons. I just think there’s unfinished business. I think there’s — the story’s just not done and I think a lot of people watching would agree and it’s been two years since all that stuff happened and man, everything Roman and I put each other through happened in front of empty arenas during the pandemic. I would love to be able to get that, recapture that and see what happens in front of a sold-out arena or sold-out stadium, whatever it may be and get to feel the energy of a crowd watching what’s unfolding in front of them. So I’d love to get to do that one more time with him. For my own benefit, just to hear what we could do with fans in the stands.
The dynamic between and relationship of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn was dove into. Owens brought up how connected they were in 2017. He talked about when they were removed from a European tour and Owens said he barely had anything to do with the situation, but because of how connected he and Sami were, they both were sent home.
As for what Zayn is doing present day, Owens heaped praise onto him and said this is the Sami Zayn he’s known about for 20 years in regards to his talent level. With that being said, Owens sees no reason why their careers need to still be parallel.
Owens: Back in 2017, he [Sami Zayn] and I were so — in people’s minds, he and I were so, just one, that if he got heat backstage for something, I got the heat too. Even if I got nothing to do with it. We got kicked off a Europe tour once together for something that I will — I don’t think either of us really had anything to be blamed for. But, I was barely involved in it. ‘Get those guys out of here.’ It wasn’t get one of them, both of them because literally, everything in that aspect, what I said Monday [on Raw] stands. I think it’s just time to be done and he’s thriving, he’s thriving. I meant when I said that on Monday too. People are seeing the Sami Zayn that I’ve known was there for 20 years and I don’t know why it took so long for people to really take notice and really give him the credit he deserves because he’s been incredible in WWE the whole time he’s been here. But the last few months have obviously opened a lot of people’s eyes to him that it’s great that I just don’t think it’s optimal for our careers to be parallel anymore, you know?
Further speaking on their history, Owens recounted his match with Sami at the 2016 Battleground pay-per-view. He said former CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon said that was going to be the last one-on-one between them.
Owens: I kind of think we’ve both tried to separate ourselves for a long time [Owens said about him and Zayn being connected in WWE] and it just never worked out. Somehow, we’d always end up finding our ways back to each other. This is 2016 we’re talking about. We had a match at Battleground and everyone; the commentators were talking about it, everyone backstage was talking about it, Vince McMahon at the time was saying, ‘This is it. This is your last one. We’re gonna do this one, Battleground, this is it.’ How many matches have we had since then?
Owens shared how excited he is for Shinsuke Nakamura to go back to Pro Wrestling NOAH and wrestle Keiji Muto (The Great Muta).
Owens discussed his appreciation for the independent scene and feels it’s more possible now than ever that he could make an appearance, whether it be for a promo or to perform in-ring.
Owens: I’m very deeply rooted in the independent scene. That’s where I came up and I still have so many friends there and there’s a few wrestling companies, independent companies, they are still very near and dear to my heart that I’d love to maybe show back up on just for fun whether it’s a promo or maybe it’s a match. That’s stuff that I’ve always kind of thought about over the years like hey man, it’d be really cool if I got to do that again one day. Now it feels like more of a possibility than ever and it doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen but it feels like it could now, you know? And that’s very exciting as well just for everybody, for everybody involved, the fans, the wrestlers.
In the 2022 men’s WarGames match, Sami Zayn delivered the low blow to Kevin Owens which led to his team scoring the win.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit WWE After The Bell with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.