Before I begin, a quick explanation for my absence; my health has deteriorated a fair bit the past few months. My epilepsy meds stopped working, leading to my seizures coming back, and my doctor doesn’t know why. I’m waiting on an appointment with my neurologist in July. On top of that my idiot ass ended up falling in love with an American woman who’s in too much debt to visit Canada anytime soon and I’ve been trying to find ways to help her whittle it down.
Fortunately Widro and Babos have both been very understanding and are content to have me be a part timer, posting a column whenever I think of something to actually say. And after last night? Boy howdy do I ever.
It’s funny. After Sami Zayn’s Raw appearance two weeks ago, every time they showed the graphic for Cena’s US Open Challenge coming up, I sat here thinking “How cool would it be if they had Kevin Owens come out for that like Zayn did, to pimp the NXT show on Wednesday? Nah, they’d never pull something that awesome.”
I can’t remember the last time I was so bloody elated to be proven wrong.
The crowd popped pretty good for him too. Granted a bunch of folks who probably don’t get the WWE Network or watch NXT or the indies probably had no clue who he was, but a pretty decent NXT chant showed plenty of them did. And the even louder “FIGHT OWENS FIGHT!” chant was even more hope inducing. But of course my first instinct was to fear that Owens would just job to Cena like Zayn did.
Now Zayn jobbing to Cena wasn’t a bad thing. Because that’s kind of his schtick now. The plucky young upstart who busts his ass, tries his hardest, comes up short, doesn’t let it break him, comes back stronger, and finally gets the inspirational win. Zayn jobbing to Cena doesn’t make Zayn look weak or bad. He jobbed to Neville a few times before finally beating him for the NXT title last fall in what many consider 2014’s Match of the Year.
But Owens? Owens is a Lesnaresque unstoppable death machine. Having him job to Cena would do nothing BUT hurt him. It would make both him, and subsequently every NXT guy he all but squashed, look like nothing special. Bray Wyatt only survived his sacrifice to Cena on sheer weirdass charisma. Rusev has survived mostly intact only because he’s a decent monster heel who otherwise destroys pretty much everyone else he faces who isn’t Cena. But they both also had plenty of time prior to being booked into their Cena programs to establish themselves with the Raw audience. They had both to whatever degrees gotten over on their own with the main roster audience before being fed to Cena, and thus had enough interest with the audience to survive their Cenafication. Zayn will survive his Cenafication because he gave a gutsy performance with an injured shoulder before a hometown crowd and made himself look important on live TV.
But Owens, despite his great talent, would NOT have benifitted from being fed to Cena the first night he shows up on Raw.
So I was relieved when I noticed the teleprompters or whatever those weird vertical monitors they put in the ring corners during promos weren’t being pulled from the ring, and that no referee had come out to the ring. This wasn’t going to be a match, just a promo, probably to promote NXT Takeover; Unstoppable.
Then I start worrying that it’s going to go the predictable route where Cena buries him in the promo and eventually Owens will try to cheapshot Cena and end up being run out of the ring while Cena looks all fired up.
And then Owens just destroyed him.
Not only was Owens allowed to hold his own toe to toe with Cena on the mic, being allowed to mention the fact that technically he’s been at this longer than Cena thus Cena having no right to offer him “veteran advice”, but he was allowed to Lesnarize Cena by effortlessly taking him down without Cena getting ANY offense in whatsoever.
NOT counting Brock Lesnar, when was the last time ANYONE was allowed to do that? Even Rusev never got to just destroy Cena without Cenma getting some offense in. Even on the Raws where Rusev left Cena laid out in build-ups to their various PPV matches, Cena always got a few shots of his own in. He was never allowed to be just owned by anyone but Lesnar. And we all know Lesnar is a special case. Can any of you remember the last time a full time member of the roster, let alone a guy not even with the company for a full year, and on top of that a guy in his very first appearance on the main show, was allowed to so completely punk Cena out like that?
I can’t. I honestly can’t.
It seems like, for whatever reason, WWE is finally willing to take a big risk and do something completely different from their usual “Play It Safe/Status Quo” booking. Tripsy KNOWS they have something rare and special in Owens. And he seems to have convinced Vince to go along with it, because there’s NO way Vince would have okayed the punking of John Cena unless he was on board with it.
So here’s what I see (hopefully) happening. And I’m going to try to review Takeover on Wednesday to see if I’m right. Knock on wood.
Owens/Zayn II is a massacre, given Sami’s legit injured shoulder. Owens will brutally destroy him, and Zayn will refuse to give up like always. Zayn will as always be the plucky underdog, taking a horrendous beating and refusing to say die. Owens meanwhile will waste too much time toying with Zayn like a cat batting around a half dead mouse. And then Cena will show up at Takeover and either just distract Owens or do an outright run-in of some kind, allowing Zayn to reclaim the NXT title without Owens looking weak for the loss. This frees Owens up for a full-on push up to the main roster.
Then at EC, we get a repeat of Owens’ first two months in NXT. While I’m jaded enough to expect that Owens probably will just ended up jobbing to Cena at worst, and the match ends in a clusterf*ck no-contest of some sort at best, so far it almost looks like WWE is willing to take a chance and try something different for a change.
I’m daring to be hopeful. I’m going to go ahead and tentatively predict that in two weeks at Elimination Chamber, Kevin Owens gets to Lesnarize Cena and become the new US Champion and utterly murder Cena like no one not named Lesnar ever has. And it will cement him as the monster he is.
We now return you to desperately trying to drink Bo Dallas’ insipid commentary out of your memory.
Tags: John Cena, Kevin Owns, NXT, sami zayn