WWE News: Kevin Owens reveals that Canyon Ceman told him not to get his main roster hopes up when he first signed
What’s the story?
In a recent appearance on the Steve Austin Show, Kevin Owens revealed that Canyon Ceman, the WWE Senior Director of Talent Development, had warned him not to get his hopes up too high for a main roster call-up after he was signed by NXT.
The reason was Owens’ less-than-stellar physique. Here’s KO describing his verbal back-and-forth with Ceman:
"When I got signed, Canyon Ceman, who is Triple H's kind of right-hand man with recruiting talent, called me and said, 'well, we're going to hire you, but I was told to let you know not to get your hopes up as far as RAW and SmackDown goes because, as you're aware, you're maybe not somebody who Vince McMahon would gravitate towards.
But you're going to get your chance in NXT like everyone else.' And my exact words back to him were, 'well, I look forward to the challenge' and he said, 'well, I thought that's what you'd say.'"
Furthermore, Owens also confessed that around the time of his debut in NXT, he wasn’t sure about the kind of character the WWE Creative wanted him to portray.
He said that he even went as far as preparing singlets for himself just to be ready in case the WWE doesn’t allow him to wrestle in his T-Shirt and 3/4ths ensemble. Nevertheless, on the advice of fellow NXT rookie-turned-WWE Superstar Enzo Amore, KO ended up retaining his original ensemble and character.
In case you didn’t know...
Kevin Owens (real name Kevin Steen) is a former 2-time WWE Intercontinental champion and former WWE Universal Champion.
The Canadian star is one of the best in-ring technicians and is highly-respected for his work on the independent circuit. He’s the longest reigning Universal champ but lost his belt to Goldberg at RAW’s Fastlane PPV on March 5th.
The Heart of the matter:
Owens stated that the pro-wrestling industry has changed for good in the past couple of years, with the biggest organisation in the business, WWE, becoming more accepting of non-muscular stars such as himself, Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe.
He credited this positive development to none other than the Leader of the ‘Yes! Movement’, Daniel Bryan. Here’s what he told Stone Cold on his show-
“There'd already been guys that, much like myself, were successful even though they weren't the kind of guys you'd expect Vince to be onboard with, like Daniel Bryan.
He probably deserves a lot of credit for people like myself and Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe being here because he really broke down the barriers, almost like the fake barriers that people were putting up.
Yeah, the perception. He really changed the perception."
Owens also joked about Cody Rhodes and himself going back-and-forth on his ‘KO’ WWE ring-name.
Furthermore, KO credited his wife Karina Elias for being a pillar of support during his days as a struggling wrestler on the independent circuit as well as his initial stint in NXT.
Owens stated that although she had her doubts about him getting past NXT and working on the company’s main roster, she stuck with him and helped him make it to WWE’s longest running weekly show Monday Night RAW.
After losing his Universal title to Goldberg at Fastlane owing to Chris Jericho providing a distraction, Owens is set to face his frenemy Y2J on April 2nd at Wrestlemania 33 for Jericho’s United States championship.
Kevin Owens is one of WWE’s most prized recruits from the independent scene and has certainly broken the mould of the cookie-cutter WWE Superstar. The Prizefighter is a big, tough brawler and has certainly played his part well in the company so far.
It’s heartening to see that he has proven his critics and his naysayers wrong. We hope that Kevin Owens continues to thrive in the WWE for many years to come!
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