Think of all the dramatic elements in play here: Two men, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, who have spent almost the entirety of their careers in one another’s company, finally get to finish a feud that has spanned over a decade across numerous promotions, and numerous blow-off bouts. There were the wars in IWS, PWG, ROH, then NXT, and now the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania.
Of course, this is all contingent on the actions of Monday’s Raw evolving into the ultimate blow-off match between the two fictitious enemies. In case you didn’t catch it, Kevin Owens continued his march to WrestleMania — as well as his road to true stardom — by competing in a terrific bout with another longtime indy rival, Neville. Owens even performed a gorgeous double-jump moonsault (he missed), and one of the final sequences of the match saw Neville ascend to the second — SECOND — rope to do a phoenix splash for a near fall that saw the crowd collectively lose their sh*t. Of course, being the heel that he is, Owens won the match with a roll-up, and proceeded to beat the crap out of Neville. Zayn came down the ramp, and he and Owens fought back and forth, with Zayn eventually clotheslining Owens out of the ring with help from Neville.
If that bit of brawling between the two men — we are on the road to WrestleMania here — is any indication of their next movements in the WWE Universe, then we’re on a collision course, the ultimate goal being some kind of match between them at WrestleMania 32. Their few bouts in NXT were pretty terrific, but that’s not what’s in play here. What is possibly being sewn is the final match of a lengthy war that has seen its battles fought in all corners of the globe. (I was lucky enough to be in attendance for a show in Philadelphia over a decade ago that saw Owens and Zayn — then as Kevin Steen and El Generico — tear the proverbial roof off of the building.)