Kevin Owens Has Arrived In WWE, And He’s The Truth
June 10, 2015 - WWE
Welcome to Deadspin’s strange pro wrestling column, in that Tom Breihan and Ernest Wilkins will brush by a past month or so of superkicks, lariats, and 450 splashes in hunt of a biggest things that this many American of artforms has given us.
Tom Breihan: Kevin Owens is a tubby, not-particularly-handsome wrestler from Quebec. He wrestles in a T-shirt and gym shorts, his eyes are beady and seem like they’re too tighten together, and his tattoos are of a “got dipsomaniac one night in beginner year and bewail it terribly” variety. His whole being seems to detonate with some clarity of barely-contained violence. Back when he was regulating a name Kevin Steen, Owens spent a decade and a half wrestling in bars and margin houses and American Legion halls on a eccentric circuit. we once watched him combat during an indoor pro soccer team’s use facility. He is not anyone’s thought of a WWE star. But final Sunday, in his initial central WWE main-roster match, Kevin Owens pinned John Cena purify in a center of a ring.
The thing is: Owens is a fucking amazing wrestler, a cruel earthy powerhouse with a machiavellian outlaw glamour and a arrange of courage that it’s unfit to manufacture. He does moves that should be positively unfit for a male of his size, and he creates them demeanour easy. During his years on a indies, he was a classical box of “if a WWE knew what was up, they’d pointer this guy.” But nobody approaching him to indeed get signed, given he looks how he looks and his matches mostly revolved around him dropping wrestlers on their heads in ways that looked impossibly unpleasant and dangerous. When he did get signed, people were frightened that WWE wouldn’t know what to do with him. But he wrestled a fantastic, brutal, obligatory back-and-forth compare opposite Cena—easily a prominence of final month’s Elimination Chamber show—and he won. He kick a man that roughly nobody beats. It was beautiful.
Owens’ climb is an indicator of only how fucking uncanny a wrestling universe has turn in new months. Nobody has any thought what’s going to occur next, and anything seems possible. The WWE looked like it was stranded low in a post-Wrestlemania rut—and it mostly still is—but afterwards it goes and drops this fantastic Owens compare on it. The aged manners don’t apply. For instance, a aged order that one network can’t atmosphere shows from some-more than one wrestling company? That’s over now. Destination America is display matches from TNA and Ring of Honor on a same night. And that night is Wednesday, where wrestling fans already have full plates, interjection to Lucha Underground and NXT. Ernest, what’s your take on all this insanity?
Ernest Wilkins: First, Kevin Owens is a world-class talent. His climb was going to occur anyway, yet interjection to some hapless injuries and bad timing, he’s removing a round progressing than expected. we can contend that in a final few years of examination wrestling, I’ve had 3 moments where we audibly yelled given of something that happened during a match, and Owens is obliged for dual of them: his entrance opposite Cena and his win during Elimination Chamber. He’s a law and everybody should watch him if they aren’t already. we consider someone during WWE read a final column (I wish it was Arn Anderson. Hi Arn!) given a common rut we only spoke of isn’t function in 2015. The E is in full “Buy this damn network or die trying” mode and given of that, we’ve gotten a garland of compensate per-view turn events in a brief duration of time that have constructed some good matches (like a aformentioned Cena vs. Owens). We’re entering an epoch that complicated wrestling fans haven’t been unprotected to yet harkens behind to a days of a finish of a territories. Yes, some people will sojourn constant to their favorite fed, yet if you’re only perplexing to see some pro graps, we can select between RAW, Smackdown, NXT, NJPW on AXS, Lucha Underground, TNA Impact and ROH TV. That’s 11 HOURS of wrestling in a week, and all we need is a strong wire package (or we know, entrance to a internet). It’s a best. Something to consider about, though; Are we going to boost your wrestling viewing, Tom? I’m already in a mode where we have to play locate adult on shows usually.
Tom Breihan: Too much? we don’t know. But we do know that I’m carrying a ruin of a time gripping adult with everything. I’d like to consider that I’m a wild adequate wrestling fan to watch everything, yet I’m only not built like that. we got kids, so something like Ring of Honor’s toxically shitty announcing organisation of Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino is adequate to keep me from examination unless we know something implausible happened. Wednesday night is a smorgasboard and a logjam during a same time, with both ROH and TNA on Destination America, as good as NXT on a WWE Network. And Lucha Underground, that is in there as well, is so distant and divided a best of them that we wish it doesn’t get ignored in a calm avalanche.
For a past integrate of months, we’ve been job LU a best weekly wrestling uncover on TV. At this point, I’m assured it’s something some-more than that. Gun to my head, I’m flattering certain Lucha Underground is a best thing on TV right now, in any genre, no qualifiers necessary. It’s got a abounding cast, a mythology that’s already been built adult over only a year, and a discernible and minute universe that it’s built for itself. And it’s got extraordinary wrestling, too. The same week Game of Thrones finished with a quite nasty rape scene, Lucha Underground gave us a fucking absurd trios-championship ladder match, with dudes drifting by windows and throwing dropkicks off of balconies.
It’s only towering how good that compare was and how good a uncover in ubiquitous has been, and we only wish people are watching. As most as we desired Cena/Owens, both as a wrestling compare and as a pointer of a changing climate, that trios compare was substantially my compare of a month. What was yours?
Ernest Wilkins: May was a tough month! If we’re both similar that Owens vs. Cena we was adult there, It’s a four-way tie for me between that match, Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch during NXT Unstoppable, and a two-piece of Roderick Strong vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi from ROH/NJPW War of a Worlds and a batshit violent 10-man tab compare categorical eventuality from ROH/NJPW Global Wars.
These matches couldn’t have been any some-more opposite yet any singular one of them hold my full courtesy and should be sought out by anyone who’s possibly been divided from pro wrestling for awhile, infrequent WWE fans who wish to see something new or anyone who’s only now starting to watch. Lynch/Banks was a wake-up call to anyone out there who still considers women’s wrestling a “bathroom break” match. Two of a “Four Horsewomen” of NXT (the other dual being Bayley and Charlotte) went out there and had a compare that was equal tools technically sound and only uninterrupted energy. It’s a Match of a Year claimant and I’ll quarrel anyone who disagrees.
As for a ROH/NJPW stuff, a annual double-shot of American and Canadian shows are a smashing event for stateside fans to see all a puro (slang for puroresu, a renouned tenure for a renouned character of pro wrestling grown in Japan that’s some-more hard-hitting than American style) that they can handle. This year, Roderick Strong—a man who’s been cranking it out on a indie stage for years who unexpected held glow this year—and Hiroshi Tanahashi—basically a John Cena of New Japan—beat a dog shit out of any other for 17 true minutes. (Weirdly enough, this compare happened in TNA years ago.) Strong got destitute open legit and afterwards all went into overdrive. If we dug Cena and Owens, check this one out. While we’re immersion Strong with praise, he also did his damn thing in that 10-man tag. It wasn’t a technical masterpiece or anything imitative a normal match. Instead, we got a spotfest that managed to disturb and spotlight everybody who participated.
Here’s a background: The Bullet Club are a fast (originally combined by Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson and Fergal “You know competence know him now as Finn Balor from NXT” Devitt) in New Japan that shaped a few years back. The organisation now consists of mostly non-Japanese wrestlers like AJ Styles and a Young Bucks, who are presented as immorality shit-kickers who will kick your ass, afterwards take your girlfriend. They’re a approach descendants of 90’s stables like DX and a NWO and plainly compensate loyalty to both groups by regulating mannerisms from a Kliq (the real-life organisation consisting of Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sean “X-Pac” Waltman and Triple H that were obliged for both feign factions in WWF and WCW) including a “too sweet” palm vigilance and a arm chop. (Ironically, even yet they’re formed in Japan, Bullet Club competence be a best Southern heel fast in a business given a Fabulous Freebirds.) They went adult opposite a organisation of Ring of Honor’s homegrown talents (the aforementioned Strong, a cruel new tab organisation War Machine and a Briscoes, who have been one of a best tab teams on Earth for a improved partial of a decade now) and only went nuts. Everyone is drifting everywhere, there are large spots, finishers on tip of finishers, it’s only comprehensive insanity.
Christ, I’m sweating after all of that. Figure this is a good adequate time to hang it up. We’ll see we all subsequent time.
Tom Breihan is a comparison editor during Stereogum. He’s created for Pitchfork, a Village Voice, GQ, Grantland, and a Classical, and he writes a Netflix Action Movie Canon column for Deadspin’s Concourse. He lives in Charlottesville, VA. He is tall, and on Twitter.
Ernest Wilkins is a author vital in Chicago. He’s created for Gawker, Complex, Pitchfork, Noisey, GQ, Rolling Stone and a Chicago Tribune. He’s 5’11 on a good day, and is also on Twitter.