Kevin Owens’ loss to John Cena at Battleground this past Sunday left a lot of fans mired in confusion. Why kick out of the un-kick-out-able move only to tap out? While Owens himself offered up an explanation, this is still pro wrestling, which means there are nefarious behind the scenes goings on. This week, it’s because WWE hates Kevin Owens and wants you to hate him, too.
Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer was similarly confused after the pay-per-view, and though he said he was at a “loss for words,” he used a lot of them on his radio show to explain why this could have possibly happened. He first posits that it’s because Cena’s merchandise numbers have been flagging as a result of his Elimination Chamber loss, which explains his Money in the Bank victory. Cena winning might not put butts in seats, but it sure as heck will put neon sweatbands on tiny child wrists. He goes on to further speculate that the same forces behind the rumored “buryings” of NXT talent like Emma, Paige, and Adam Rose are now trying to do the same thing to Owens:
To again explain this: there were two schools of thought on Kevin Owens from the start, and the basic gist was that some people thought that he was going to make it, and some people thought he wasn’t going to make it, and those who thought he wasn’t going to make it made sure that he got every opportunity to make it or else they would be wrong. You know what I mean? I shouldn’t say they would be wrong, they wouldn’t prove that they were right. So now whether he makes it or he doesn’t make it, there is a game going on and we’re in the middle of the game.
That is… complicated. You can see where he’s coming from, though. Emma tore it up in NXT, then had to jerk off with a hand puppet (and not in the sexy way people probably would have paid attention to). On the other hand, Owens made an immediate impression in NXT, brought the belt to Raw, and entered into a feud with WWE’s top star. He got, like, five new shirts, and is on every PPV. It doesn’t seem like they’re taking the Zack Ryder tack (Tack Ryder), and over-saturating the market in order to poison it from within. What we can say for certain is that WWE doesn’t have a great track record (Zack Record) of people organically connecting with the audience in a way that WWE hasn’t specifically told that audience to connect with, and Owens already has an incredibly loyal, defensive fan base.
It’ll be interesting to see how the build-up to SummerSlam goes, but we’re willing to let this rumor stew a bit at this point. Either way, Owens seems like he’s the kind of guy who will make the best out of whatever these unseen forces hand down to him. I mean, Steve Corino once covered him in lighter fluid and tried to set him on fire. I think he’ll be okay.