Former WWE Universal Champion, Kevin Owens, has superkicked his way through his rivalry with Roman Reigns and stated that it was necessary to get people to notice him.
Following the 2020 Survivor Series, Owens took up arms against ‘The Tribal Chief’ on Friday Night SmackDown attempting at every opportunity to not only dethrone the current WWE Universal Champion, but knock him from his loft pedestal.
At WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs in December, Owens took ‘The Head of the Table’ to the limit and came up short thanks to the interference of Jey Uso, who was the overriding factor in the pair’s Christmas Day Steel Cage Match when he handcuffed the host of the Kevin Owens Show to the cage.
With one last shot in the cannon, Owens challenged Roman in a Last Man Standing Match at the 2021 Royal Rumble and came within a whisker of claiming the gold when he handcuffed the champion to the lighting rig causing Roman to pull the official into the stanchion to stop the count of ten.
Now, Owens has sat down with FOX Sports to discuss the rivalry with Reigns – which looks to continue – and why the pressure of living up to fan expectation is difficult in the modern era:
“In a way I don’t feel like I ever really had to show it to people because I think people know by now. But, the nature of our industry and the way things work and the amount of very talented people we have on the roster, just makes for an environment where you constantly have to prove your worth day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, right?
It’s almost like people in the industry or the company take things for granted. Like, I think after all the years I’ve put in – and I’m one of many, I’m not saying this just about myself – but, there are guys where when the shows go on the people in charge just know, “Oh, they’re going to have a good match.” They take it for granted because they know it’s going to be a good match or they’re going to be able to tell this story great, or they’re going to be able to deliver this promo great. But, it becomes almost like it’s expected of us because it’s what we do. So, then it’s like, “Of course they had a good match.” It’s like, not special, almost.”
While the pressure to produce three memorable outings weighed heavy on the shoulders of both men, it was a burden that Owens gladly welcomed to get himself noticed by the audience again after arguably languishing in the upper-mid card for several years:
“So, once in a while, you have to have these special performances that are a bit above what you usually deliver even if what you usually deliver is good, – and like I said, we have a ton of men and women who do it on a weekly basis – but, once in a while, you just need this one performance to make people take notice again.
Like, “Oh, you know, he is really good,” or, “Oh, we could do something with this.” So, obviously, this story with Roman was a big opportunity for me to do that again. Yeah, I think we accomplished it. Even Roman, I think. People are already aware, since he came back, that he’s on another level now. And I think our story helped prove that even more, you know? I think it did a lot of good for both of us. Especially me, though.”
On the February 5, 2021, Friday Night SmackDown, Kevin Owens struck again with a Stunner to Reigns before securing a spot in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber Match on February 21, with the winner facing Reigns immediately after for the WWE Universal Championship.
Credit for the interview and transcription: FOX Sports