First things first, if you haven’t done so already, please check out this clip from Smackdown Live this week before we continue.
Great, wasn’t it? Kevin Owens going full steam ahead in a passionate rant about Shane McMahon’s overbearing presence on WWE TV and more these past few months. He spoke from the heart about how much ‘TV time’ Shane is taking up and by doing so is forcing Owens’ colleagues in the locker room to take a back seat and not be involved at all. This is one of those rare times when story blurs into reality as there have been many vocal fans of WWE bemoaning the insistence of WWE to continually shove Shane McMahon down our throats. Owens was saying what we were thinking, and though I won’t try to compare his promo with the infamous ‘pipe bomb’ of CM Punk from eight years ago, it did bear some similarities and spoke some home truths.
Kevin Owens was doing what Kevin Owens does; what he wants, when he wants. His promo was so much more than an angle in that he took it upon himself to say what the fans have been thinking. He used the platform he has to vent his frustrations with the company, the direction it is going and the limited opportunities he’s had since returning from injury. Some are saying that this is the beginning of a feud that will see Shane take a step back from being an on-screen talent and go back to working behind the scenes or continuing to work on the many businesses he has outside of WWE. I really don’t care one way or the other, but one this is for certain; if this means more Kevin Owens on our screens, then I’m all for it.
The question is; what happens from here and also, after this feud is over? Shane is positioned as the heel in this story – something he’s been reveling in for some time now. His return from self-imposed exile in February 2016, saw him as the returning hero, there to do battle with his sister, Stephanie McMahon, and challenge his father’s authority once again. At that point, Shane was hailed as the returning savior to save the WWE Universe from the evil Stephanie’s reign of terror. That story played out well, but the feeling from many WWE fans is that Shane has overstayed his welcome. His very presence has become Smackdown Live’s version of WWE’s insistence on putting Baron Corbin in main event spots on Raw. It grates with us and has gone on for too long. That’s not a pop at Shane (or Corbin) personally, but the formula is getting old and tired. They need to be knocked off their perch.
Enter the new hero, the man who has decided to become the voice of the people – Kevin Owens. This gives Owens a new opportunity to go into this feud as a fully-fledged face, something he hasn’t been too much of in his WWE career. Personally, I love his heel work; from his destruction of John Cena on his main roster debut (when Owens was NXT Champion), to his beatdown of Chris Jericho when Owens decided to end the Festival of Friendship without telling his partner first. I think a face Kevin Owens will be a really fresh idea going forward. This new crusade he’s on, to rid the WWE of Shane McMahon, should see the crowd rally behind him and support his cause no end. It also shines a light on the side of Kevin Owens we rarely see – one who is supportive of others. Usually, Owens has been the loner in WWE; out for himself at all times. Sure, he’s had help along the way with the aforementioned Jericho and his real-life, long-time friend Sami Zayn, and a brief dalliance with The New Day, but I think Owens does his best work when standing alone.
As a fan of both Owens and WWE, I’m already invested in this and am eager to see where it goes. I like Shane McMahon and he’s held his own when it comes to performing in the ring, but at his age (he’s 49 years old), he should be taking a back seat and letting the younger guys and girls shine. His feud with the Miz was too long, boring and did little for either man. Miz should’ve whooped Shane’s ass in a big showdown, but it faded out into nothing memorable – which is a shame because Miz is awesome. All that feud did was give us even more Shane. The ‘Best in the World’ moniker Shane has given himself is also tiresome. It’s been done to death before and the Saudi Arabia show in 2018 wasn’t the highlight it was meant to be – with fans caring very little, if at all, that Shane ended the night with a meaningless trophy and title.
Kevin Owens should be the voice of the people in this. He should be the renegade who is determined to get Shane off TV, and not for himself, but for the rest of the locker room. He mentioned some notable names in the promo above: Apollo Crews, Asuka, Kairi Sane, Buddy Murphy and more. We’ve seen those stars have fantastic matches, but they never seem to get the time or opportunity to showcase more than once in a blue moon. Will the McMahons try to silence him? Yes, but will he go quietly? Not a chance. Kevin Owens should lead the charge against the regime. He should be the voice of the WWE Universe and he should be the figurehead for the stars in the back who are missing out because of Shane McMahon’s ego.
Could Kevin Owens be that guy on the roster who gets to beat up his boss? Could he take on the persona of the working man who takes out his frustrations on the suits? WWE tried that once before with a man named Steve Austin, who happened to use the same Stone Cold Stunner that Owens used on Smackdown this week. Things turned out alright for him, didn’t they?
Do you like Kevin Owens’ face turn? Do you see this as a positive move for WWE or should there be more Shane McMahon on TV? What happens if/when Kevin wins the feud? What next? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, thanks for reading.