Kevin Owens has returned to Monday Night Raw and many WWE fans are surely happy to see him back. The prizefighter came back on the September 3 edition of Raw and attacked Bobby Lashley. Now the two men appear to be on a collision course, possibly for Hell in a Cell on September 16.
But many are perhaps a bit apprehensive about his return. That’s because Owens supposedly quit WWE just seven days prior to his appearance on Raw. In the week between those two programs, the company did very little to publicly address the situation. It’s not that fans actually bought into the idea of KO walking out on his job. But that short-lived angle may be a sign of bigger problems when it comes to his booking. Does WWE truly have a plan for Kevin Owens?
Owens has been floundering for quite some time. This is up for debate of course, but it is a fact to many of the WWE faithful. KO has had his issues and those issues have led him to a very lackluster career over the past year.
The first indication that things were getting a bit out of hand was Owens’ run as Universal champion in 2016. This should have been KO’s crowning achievement but instead this storyline left many fans disappointed in the end.
Owens rarely ever looked like a real champion, which was mostly due to Chris Jericho’s interference. Y2J and KO did work well together and they were the hottest act in WWE at the time. But every time Owens cheated to win or was given the assist by Jericho, fans questioned why. Why did the company insist on making Owens look weak, even in victory?
But KO’s program with Chris Jericho is arguably the highlight of his WWE career thus far. He and Chris had great chemistry together, it was a very emotional rivalry and both men were committed to getting it over. Owens stood out as the top heel that he is and he has perhaps never looked better since he started with Vince McMahon’s company.
KO’s United States Championship reign was fun and gave him the opportunity to stretch his wings creatively. Owens’ claim that he was the “face of America” made him one of the more entertaining figures on SmackDown Live. It was a very tongue-in-cheek angle that definitely worked for him and played to his strengths as a character.
But then his heat with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan began. This is where things once again took somewhat of a disappointing turn. The angle should have been a hit and it was in the beginning. But weeks after it began, the feud was still going with no end in sight. The addition of Sami Zayn into the equation was definitely a twist and helped matters along but in the end, it just wasn’t enough to make fans believe that something good was on the horizon for Owens.
Indeed, KO lost at Wrestlemania 34 as he and Zayn could not defeat Shane and Bryan. This was perhaps not a reason for Owens’ fans to panic but it was yet another indication that WWE had a blank page when it came to him.
After months of losing and getting destroyed by Braun Strowman, Owens is apparently now heading for a feud with Lashley. Bobby doesn’t tend to lose many big matches and WWE could change course at any time and utilize him in the Universal title picture. What are the chances that Owens gets over on him? Maybe the bigger question is, why does this continue to happen?
Kevin Owens a former Ring of Honor world champion, a guy that built his reputation match by match on the independent wrestling scene. “Fight Steen Fight” was more than a catchphrase for ROH fans. It followed KO everywhere he went. Kevin may not look like the prototypical pro wrestler but he doesn’t need to. He has heart, he has talent and most importantly, he has drive.
While some guys relax a bit when they finally make it to WWE, Kevin Owens is the exact opposite. He’s not happy with mid-card matches. He doesn’t want to be overlooked or cast aside as if he doesn’t matter. Owens takes pride in what he does and it shows. He’s the kind of Superstar that WWE should love because of his commitment to his work. He wants to be the best. But WWE, for whatever reason, does not seem to have a real plan for him. Or maybe fans just don’t see it yet.
Could it be that this most recent return is the beginning of something much bigger? When Owens “quit” in the middle of the ring, many likely believed it was the start of something important for his career. At least he finally had the spotlight and maybe he was headed toward a clean slate. He may have been back just one week later, but is it possible that he’s now moving on to better things?
Perhaps the most glaring issue for KO right now is the main event scene on Monday Night Raw. Roman Reigns is the new Universal champion and he’s probably not losing the title any time soon. Strowman is the solid number two and Drew McIntyre could become the number three. Seth Rollins is a viable main event player and the company can elevate him right behind Roman at any time. Many fans feel he’s there right now. Then there’s Dean Ambrose and Finn Balor, both of whom have the potential to rise up at any moment.
Where does Kevin Owens fit in? Does WWE have the answer to that? KO is fully capable of getting over in any situation he finds himself in but it’s a matter of booking him in situations where he can shine. He has everything it takes to succeed but if he does not have the support of the company behind him, there may be no chance of success at all. When it comes to giving Kevin Owens a real shot, the next move is up to WWE. But then again, it always is.
Cook’s Top 5: Miz Moments
Cook brings the most must see Top 5 of the week! Is it obvious or a MIZtery?
This week is all about our new WWE Champion, The Miz!
Let’s be honest, Miz might not hold the Championship for too long. He’s got a big match with Bobby Lashley next week. We wish him luck, and maybe something unlikely will happen resulting in Miz holding on to the title longer than anybody expects. Still, I feel the need to get this particular edition of the Top 5 out there as soon as possible.
Here are the Top 5 Miz Moments!
5. Main Eventing WrestleMania
The match itself…not so great. Miz was obviously the third most important person in the match. He also suffered a concussion. But the guy still main evented WrestleMania and beat John Cena, which is something that not too many other people can say. This will remain Miz’s biggest WrestleMania match unless they get Bad Bunny to wrestle him this year.
4. A Ladder Match with Dolph Ziggler
Miz & Ziggler have quite a bit in common. Both hail from the Cleveland area. Both prefer to think of themselves as being from Hollywood. They’re both egotistical characters that make up for what they might lack in size with ego. They’ve been in WWE forever with limited changes to their character, pretty much on the same level of the card. Naturally, they get along pretty well & have good chemistry.
2016 saw the best incarnation of their on-screen issues, with Miz & Ziggler trading the Intercontinental Championship back & forth. The Ladder Match ending the feud at TLC is considered by most to be Miz’s best match. I don’t have a ton of other options off the top of my head, so we’ll go with that.
3. The First MITB Cash-In
You always remember your first. At this point in time, much like here in 2021, Miz wasn’t seen as the most believable choice to be WWE Champion. However, the man had a briefcase, and, importantly, this was back before the briefcase gimmick was completely run into the ground. So when Miz ran down at the end of Raw to cash in on Randy Orton, it got a tremendous reaction.
People were either really happy or really angry. I was on the angry side of the spectrum, especially since I had a cold and was writing a news column during all of this. Man, I remember when the week or so a year I would a cold was the only time I really felt like crap.
What can I say, Miz has grown on me over the years.
2. Feuding with The King
A lot of old school wrestling fans found it hard to believe that The Miz had become WWE Champion when more deserving wrestlers from their childhood never had been. Heck, Jerry Lawler, a God of Memphis rasslin who piledrove Andy Kaufman into oblivion, had never even gotten a shot at that title, even though he’d worked for WWE for nearly twenty years. Seemed wrong to a lot of people, but nobody expected that wrong to be addressed.
Lawler was celebrating his sixty-first birthday the week after Miz defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. One thing led to another, and Lawler got his very first WWE Championsgip opportunity. In a TLC match! They got the fans believing that Lawler could win the title…until that pesky Michael Cole kept Lawler from climbing further up the ladder.
It was nice to see the King get another important run on WWE television long after we thought it was possible. A large part of the reason it was possible? The Miz. He portrayed himself as just beatable enough that the title change could happen. Also held up his end of the bargin in the promos, which was never easy for Lawler’s opponents.
I know everybody likes a title change, but this was the best work Miz did during his first WWE Championship reign by a wide margin.
Honorable Mention: Marrying Maryse
You knew I had to mention this, right?
1. Talking Smack to Daniel Bryan
I’ve always been a Daniel Bryan guy. Back when he was Miz’s “rookie” on NXT, I thought the idea that Miz would have something to teach him was a bit outrageous. It was an interesting pairing though, and the Miz/Bryan relationship/rivalry has provided plenty of compelling moments over the years.
None moreso than the night where Miz did something that a lot of people didn’t think was possible: make himself seem right & Daniel Bryan seem wrong. The way Miz defended himself in this tirade was pretty much impossible to argue with. Maybe Miz doesn’t wrestle the way that hardcore wrestling fans would like, but he is pretty much the prototypical WWE Superstar of his era. He always works hard, is never hurt, and you don’t have to worry about him embarrassing himself or the company.
This promo raised Miz’s character to another level at the time, and definitely added some fuel to the fire for Bryan’s eventual return. If you want to see one Miz promo that sums up who he is & was, this would be it.
Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments: WWE Elimination Chamber 2021
Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!
Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!
Due to the short build between the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, there was a general lack of excitement from fans heading into the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View, especially with the lack of established matches on the card. Despite this, the Elimination Chamber was still a solid show to watch, mainly due to both chamber matches being fun to watch, with the last chamber match, having a shocking but awesome twist. So as we leave the Elimination Chamber and take yet another step forward on the Road to WrestleMania, let us look at the top 5 moments that stood out on this short but solid show.
5. Riddle becomes United States Champion
Heading into this match, it seemed highly unlikely that Riddle would beat the United States Champion, Bobby Lashley. Even though the match was a triple threat match and Riddle did not have to pin Lashley to win the title, fans had seen Riddle lose to Bobby time and time again, making it seem the only real threat to Lashley’s title reign in the match was Keith Lee. However after Lee was taken out and John Morrison won a match on the pre-show earlier in the night, things seemed somewhat possible for Riddle.
All three men looked good in this match, as Lashley dominated the start of the match, helping fans get their breath back from the opening Elimination Chamber. This would force Riddle and John Morrison to team up on Lashley, despite being teamed up on Lashley would fight back and seemed to have things won as he put the hurt lock on John Morrison, only for Riddle to attack Lashley with the crutch belonging to MVP and pin John Morrison to become United States Champion
Yet again, special credit has to be given to MVP as a manager, he serves a purpose and actually looks like he’s being effective in helping Lashley. An example of this was MVP encouraging Lashley to stay outside the ring to recover as Riddle and Morrison treaded blows inside the ring.
4. The Tribal Chief reigns supreme for now
Instead of defending the Universal Championship inside the Elimination Chamber, Roman Reigns would use his power to face the winner of the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match, straight after the match. This was yet another great heel move from Roman as it once again showed how much power he has backstage due to his bloodline and role as a main-event player.
After Daniel Bryan survived a brutal chamber match, Roman Reigns would come out straight after the match, giving Daniel Bryan little time to recover. Roman would go to spear Daniel, only for Daniel to reverse it into the Yes Lock, making the impossible seem possible, only for Roman to counter and punish Daniel, locking in the guillotine for the win.
After holding the Universal Title, Roman would be hit with a spear by Edge, who seemed to copy Roman from earlier on SmackDown as he whispered in Roman’s ear, before pointing to the WrestleMania sign, giving fans his answer on who he’s gonna face at WrestleMania.
3. An Awesome finish
After The Miz won the Money In The Bank briefcase at Hell In A Cell against Otis, it seemed like every Pay-Per-View he would give Drew McIntyre a threat, stating he was going to cash in, however as time went on, it seemed more unlikely he would ever successfully cash in the Money In The Bank briefcase and win the WWE Championship from Drew McIntyre.
Each after he pulled out of the Elimination Chamber match, it still seemed unlikely Miz would cash in successfully, especially with it being so close to WrestleMania. However, after we saw backstage footage of The Miz talking to MVP backstage before the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship, things started to become interesting.
After McIntyre had won the Elimination Chamber match to retain his WWE Championship, Bobby Lashley would come out and dominate Drew, leaving The Miz to cash in on Drew, allowing Miz to win the WWE Championship, putting a massive twist on the Road to WrestleMania.
2. McIntyre survives the Elimination Chamber
The Elimination Chamber match was filled with heaps of sub feuds, especially with the WWE Champion, Drew Mcintyre who had old rivals in Randy Orton and AJ Styles, as well as a new feud with his former best friend Sheamus, despite this, Drew would keep a level head and dominate everyone in the match, before eventually hitting a claymore on AJ Styles to win the match and retain his title before The Miz would cash in.
Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton would start the match before Drew would come in and dominate both men. Kofi Kingston would come in next and hit Orton with a roll-up to score a shock elimination. Orton would RKO both Hardy and Kofi, allowing Styles to have an advantage as Omos helped destroy his pod, so Styles could enter early in the match. Kofi would be eliminated by Sheamus, as well as Hardy who was eliminated by Drew.
AJ, Sheamus and Drew would trade blows, with Sheamus hitting Drew with a Brogue kick, only for Styles to hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Sheamus to eliminate him. With Drew now battered and broken Styles would attempt a Phenomenal Forearm on Drew, only for Drew to hit a Claymore Kick in mid-air to survive and win a great Elimination Chamber match.
1. Daniel Bryan goes the distance
Despite the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship being a great match I personally found the opening chamber match earlier in the night much more enjoyable. It felt much more smooth and natural than the later chamber match with all 6 men involved looking strong with Daniel Bryan, being the clear MVP of the match as he entered the chamber first with fellow dark horse Cesaro and went on to win his third Elimination Chamber match.
Cesaro and Daniel would start things off slow as they entered the match first. King Corbin would then come out, followed by an irate Sami Zayn who could not believe we entered forth. Corbin would be the first eliminated after Cesaro put him the Sharpshooter. Kevin Owens and Jey Uso would then come out with Owens eliminating Sami. As Sami exited the ring Jey would trap Kevin’s arm in the Chamber door, superkicking him then eliminating him.
Cesaro would then mount a comeback only for Jey to ruin his momentum as he superkicked Cesaro and hit a splash to eliminate him. Jey would then attempt a splash of a wounded Bryan, only for Bryan to get his knees up and hit Jey with the running knee to win the Elimination Chamber match.
These were my top 5 moments from the Elimination Chamber. What were your top 5 moments and what did you think of both Elimination Chamber matches? Let us know in the comments below.
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