NXT champion Kevin Owens made his in-ring debut on WWE's main roster Sunday night at Elimination Chamber, and he did so in spectacular fashion as the Canadian Superstar defeated United States champion John Cena.
After the match, Owens sent a clear message to Cena:
WWE provided a GIF of one of the highlights of the match, courtesy of Owens:
WrestlingNewsSource believed it was a monumental upset:
There's no question that Cena did his part to make this an incredibly entertaining match. BlackSportsOnline's Robert Littal and WrestlingINC.com gave him a ton of credit:
It didn't take Owens long to assert his dominance in NXT as he won the title over Sami Zayn in just his third match. He looked to do something similar in WWE after making an instant impact by attacking Cena in his Raw debut.
Prior to NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, Owens answered Cena's U.S. Open Challenge. Rather than facing the leader of the Cenation for his title, though, Owens instead talked some trash before leaving Cena lying in the middle of the ring with a Pop-Up Powerbomb.
The former Ring of Honor star followed that up on the go-home edition of Raw with yet another attack on Cena. After he successfully defended the U.S. title against Zack Ryder, Cena was jumped by Owens. The NXT champ put an exclamation point on the segment by stomping on the United States Championship and showing disrespect for the face of WWE.
That came on the heels of Cena proclaiming that Owens' popularity wouldn't necessarily lead to a victory at Elimination Chamber, according to WWE Universe:
While Cena remained confident in the face of Owens' dominance, the newcomer never wavered when it came to his belief that he would beat one of the most successful wrestlers in WWE history.
After his initial beatdown of Cena, Owens was defiant and sure that he would find a way to defeat his opponent at the pay-per-view:
Many hotshots have made the leap to the main roster over the years and taken aim at Cena. The vast majority of them have failed, but Owens is a different breed. The fact that he was given such a significant victory right away suggests that the likes of Vince McMahon and Triple H have extremely high hopes for him.
Owens is the total package, as he thrives in the ring and on the mic while sporting ideal size and a polished character to boot. He is arguably among the best heels in wrestling right now, and he played that role to perfection Sunday.
Regardless of the result at Elimination Chamber, it will be interesting to see where Owens goes from here. He is still the NXT champion, which means he will remain a part of the NXT roster, but he has established himself as a player in WWE as well.
WWE has some options at its disposal in terms of what it does with Owens—he could remain solely in NXT or perhaps even pull double duty. Whatever the case, it won't be long before he's vying for top titles on the main roster.
Owens proved Sunday that he belongs in the same ring as a star of Cena's caliber, and that means WWE is in good hands as he and the other top NXT performers continue to make the transition.
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