Kevin Owens Deserves Main Event Opportunities Despite Rumored Midcard Run

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterJuly 23, 2015

Credit: WWE.com

If you look at Kevin Owens and see anything other than a WWE megastar in the making, you need to change your prescription.

WWE officials reportedly are viewing the sharp-tongued bruiser as more of a sideshow than the main attraction. Despite his top-flight verbal skills, top-flight ring work and growing connection with the crowd, some within the company don't think he belongs on WWE's top rung. 

According to Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live (h/t Wrestle Zone), WWE has dropped Owens from being a main event-level talent to that of an upper midcarder instead. He was compared to other not-quite-marquee guys like Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro and Rusev and not viewed as on the same tier as stars like John Cena or Randy Orton.

That's misguided.

Owens can thrive in the throne. The former NXT champ has proved that the excellence that made him a Ring of Honor favorite works in a WWE environment as well. In just a matter of months, he's made a major impact on both NXT and WWE.

Kevin Owens in a faceoff with John Cena.
Kevin Owens in a faceoff with John Cena.Credit: WWE.com
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There's been no long "getting to know you" phase; Owens has quickly made himself at home as part of the WWE's circus.

Kenny Herzog of Rolling Stone named Owens the Wrestler of the Year (so far). Herzog writes that Owens "has not only stared down his potential but surpassed it, becoming a lynchpin of two promotions."

That's partly due to stellar in-ring performances. So often in his short run, Owens has made his matches feel more than worthy of being on the marquee.

WWE twice paired him with Sami Zayn. The result each time was a crackling buzz afterward. Zayn's pain and Owens delight in delivering it made for the most compelling story of the early part of the year.

The company later had him battle Finn Balor in Tokyo. Despite not going on last, that bout felt like the true main event. It was an emotionally stirring, action-packed clash that hints at what greatness lies ahead for both men.

This wasn't an NXT match sitting out of place on a WWE card; this was a glimpse into the future. 

Going up against Cena three times, Owens put his name in the Match of the Year race three times over. And while much of that credit has to go to WWE's well-established golden boy, it takes a special opponent to produce a trio of classics like that.

Ryback fought Cena three times, and not nearly as many sparks flew into the air. Rusev had strong outings against Cena, but not one of them was as spellbinding as Cena vs. Owens I, II or III.

That's because Owens is not just another guy. He's not just an indy darling who will forever wear the "underused" tag. He's a bona fide star—and not just in the ring. 

As Chris Jericho told Patrick Clark after fans voted Clark off Tough Enough, "The crux of this business is being able to talk."

And boy, can Owens do that. While Roman Reigns and Cesaro look to overcome their weakness in that area, Owens is already among the best mic workers on the roster.

Fans saw that during his NXT run, his days at ROH, his first appearance on Raw and when he gloated about his win at Elimination Chamber.

He's cocky, comfortable under the spotlight and adept at needling fans. Simultaneously, he's the cool tough guy we want to be like and the brash jerk we want to punch in the face. 

Combine his quality interviews with home runs in the ring, a unique look and a refreshing change as a character, and it's hard to understand why anyone would view Owens as something other than top-star material.

Both writers and those within the industry are salivating over him.

Writing for Grantland, David Shoemaker (aka The Masked Man) called him "the perfect wrestler for the current WWE moment." Of Owens, Hulk Hogan told Rolling Stone, "He caught me with my guard down, and he made me a believer again, he hooked me. He's got that look, man; that demeanor and that swagger."

The Hulkster's not the only one Owens has hooked.

Before Owens even debuted on the main roster, he was making an impact on WWE's bottom line. PWInsider (h/t Wrestling Inc) reported in January that Owens' merchandise was selling extremely well, a fact that made WWE officials quite happy.

That's only more of a testament to how much fans are connecting with the Quebec native. 

Maybe it's a reluctance to take a chance on a newcomer. Maybe it's Owens' unconventional look. But something is making officials reportedly reticent to see the powerbomb aficionado as more than an upper midcarder.

Owens will eventually sway those naysayers. Keep handing him a live mic. Keep putting him in the ring with top competition.

History says he will look like a main eventer at every turn.

His former ROH rival certainly believes that the top of the card is in his future. Speaking with Jim Ross on The Ross Report, Michael Elgin said, "I would be almost shocked if he doesn't main event a WrestleMania." Owens certainly has the ability to earn that right; he just needs opportunities from those in control of handing them out.


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