While DVD releases aren’t as popular in 2017 as they once were, I felt like I had to support Owens by picking this up. I watched him quite a bit before he got to WWE and was so excited when he finally debuted in NXT in December 2014. He is one of my favorite wrestlers in the company. I’m happy for his success and hope he continues to be a big star in WWE for many more years. Here’s a breakdown of the entire Blu-Ray version of the Fight Owens Fight release.
The documentary feature has a one-hour run time. Sometimes they run 90 minutes or close to two hours, but I thought an hour was a good amount of time to tell Kevin’s story.
The tale of Owens becoming a fan of wrestling is a familiar one. His dad decided to rent him a wrestling tape, he watched WrestleMania 11 from 1995 when he was 11 years old and was inspired after watching Shawn Michaels. Kevin’s dad Terry Stern said from that day it was “wrestling, wrestling, wrestling.” He had his first match was at 16 years of age.
Kevin’s rise in the indies in the Montreal area was a subject early on since Kevin spent a lot of time in the International Wrestling Syndicate promotion in Montreal. That’s where he got to know Sami Zayn, who wrestled as a masked wrestler named El Generico.
One of my favorite Owens’ stories is from when he met Steve Austin at an airport in 2005 (Owens was just 21 years old) and Austin’s advice to him was simple: “Never stop running your mouth.” I listened to Owens on Austin’s podcast a few years ago and he told that story to Steve as well. You could tell it had a huge impact on Kevin’s life because he is one of the best talkers in the business that never stops talking. Some of Kevin’s friends on the documentary noted that he learned English from watching Raw and hearing Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler because French was his first language growing up in Quebec.
There was about twelve minutes spent on Kevin’s run in Ring of Honor. He spent most of his 20s there from 2007 to 2014, so it was important that they focused on that. There were a lot of ROH highlights too. It showed the rise of Kevin and Generico in Ring of Honor as Tag Team Champions and later, when Kevin felt it was the right time, they did a big angle where Kevin turned heel on Generico at Final Battle 2009. Seth Rollins (who was Tyler Black in Ring of Honor) said it was the moment where Kevin and Sami elevated themselves in Ring of Honor.
Two of the guys they talked to about Kevin’s ROH run were Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino. Jacobs is currently part of WWE’s creative team while Corino works at WWE’s Performance Center as a trainer. I really liked their comments throughout the documentary. Corino was big in Kevin’s ROH run as a mentor. Corino called him “Ring of Honor’s Stone Cold” because the people loved him as a guy they all wanted to be like. Jacobs comes across as a guy that understood Kevin’s mentality and his character better than anybody else.
A big moment in Kevin’s career happened when Sami had his WWE tryout and got a contract (this would have been late 2012). Kevin called him “Generico” through most of the documentary, by the way. Sami revealed that he signed his WWE contract in front of Kevin. Sami wanted to share it with him, but he knew that it hurt Kevin while Kevin admitted that it was rough because he had never talked to WWE and had no idea if they had any interest in him. That’s when Kevin had a lot of doubt in his mind.
What’s interesting is that Kevin’s friends like Seth Rollins and Neville admitted that they never thought that Owens would get hired by WWE because of his look. It wasn’t them doubting his talent. It was just their honest opinion because as wrestling fans we know what Vince McMahon likes and Owens isn’t the prototype of that. Throughout the documentary, Owens talked about how he used those doubts to help him get where he is now.
They provided some backstory into how Owens got signed by WWE. He was wrestling Johnny Gargano at a Pro Wrestling Geurilla show (Owens loved working for PWG) in August 2013 and they knew that William Regal was going to be there. Regal is a talent scout for WWE, so Owens made sure to tell Johnny about it and they had a classic match with Owens laughing about how he was really just performing to show Regal. From there, Owens got his tryout in April 2014 (after he attended WrestleMania as a fan for the last time) and made his NXT debut in December 2014. The rest, as they say, is history.
When Owens signed with NXT, it wasn’t expected that he was going to make the main roster quickly. However, he got there after about six months. If you watch the “Special Features” Owens talks about the timeline in-depth in a funny story. Triple H said that John Cena is the one that suggested to Vince McMahon that Kevin Owens face him on the main roster. McMahon, if you’re wondering, did not speak about Owens during the documentary.
They were some clips of Owens backstage at WrestleMania 31 with him walking around holding the NXT Title. He got to speak with legends like Hulk Hogan and The Rock. I’m not going to give away what they said, but it’s on the documentary and you could tell how much it meant to Kevin.
The second half of the documentary focused on Kevin’s run on the main roster over the last two years. They covered his feuds with the likes of Cena, Dean Ambrose and Zayn.
I’ve mentioned him a few times, but it needs to be stated that Sami Zayn is a huge focus of the documentary. They are the same age, they started in the business in the same part of the world (Montreal), they made themselves known in Ring of Honor, they feuded in NXT and on WWE’s main roster. They are going to be linked together forever, so I’m glad that Sami received so much air time to not only tell Kevin’s story, but also his story as well.
There were a lot of highlights from behind the scenes at WrestleMania 32 in Dallas, which was his first WrestleMania match last year. Zayn talked about how when he was in the ring for the ladder match, Kevin’s music hit and he was so excited to hear the ovation. Once again, Sami got to experience a big moment with Kevin on the grandest stage of them all.
I’m glad they spent some time talking about the Kevin vs. Sami match at Battleground in July 2016. Jacobs called it one of the greatest matches he’s ever seen in person. I thought it was a special match too. I thought Zayn vs. Nakamura a few months earlier in NXT was better, but Sami beating Kevin at Battleground was an incredible performance both guys.
My favorite moment in the entire documentary was after Owens won the WWE Universal Title on Raw on August 29, 2016. It was a cheap win because Triple H attacked Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins at ringside leading to Owens stealing the pin and Triple H handing him the title. It was a big deal because it showed WWE had a lot of faith in Owens as a performer while Owens said it meant a lot because Triple H believed in him so much. When Owens got backstage, the first person there to greet him was his friend Sami Zayn. Owens gave him a big bearhug and told him: “This is ours.” It was KO’s way of saying that they went on this journey together for 15 years and while he may be champion, Sami meant so much to him. It was such a cool moment.
I liked how much of a focus there was on Kevin with his family. He’s married with a wife, son and daughter that clearly mean everything to him. It’s what drives him to succeed. Even though Kevin is a heel, the real life version of the man is a guy you want to root for and when you see him succeed, it makes you feel good as a fan.
In addition to the documentary, there are several special features as well. They are clips of Owens talking about different things in his career and life in WWE. I’m not going to spoil everything on there because you should watch it, but here are three items from it.
– If you’re wondering who came up with the Kevin Owens name, it was Triple H. He suggested it after they had discussed it for a while. Owens noted that at one point they thought he might use Steve Keen, but he didn’t really like it.
– Remember when Sami Zayn debuted on the main roster on Raw against John Cena in Montreal (May 4, 2015) as part of the “US Open Challenge” that Cena was doing? That was Kevin’s idea, but the creative team gave it to Sami. It’s also the night Sami hurt his shoulder entering the ring with Kevin noting it had been bothering him for a while. Owens ended up debuting on the main roster two weeks later.
– Owens was really close with both of his grandfathers, who supported him tremendously in his wrestling career. Both men have passed away, so Owens tattooed their initials on his left hand. Once again, it’s another example of how Owens was raised right because his family means so much to him.
I recommend watching all of the Special Features because it educated me on some things about Owens that I wondered about.
All of the matches on the DVD are from his WWE career starting with his NXT debut match against CJ Parker on December 11, 2014. The second match is from two months later when he beat Sami Zayn for the NXT Title on February 11, 2015.
There are 11 matches on the main DVD and four more as Blu-Ray exclusives. I had seen every match before getting the DVD except for one: It’s from April 2016 as Owens teamed with Triple H against Sami Zayn and Dean Ambrose in Paris, France. Good to see Owens working with Triple H as a team. They had great chemistry together.
There are also highlights shown from some of his promos during his NXT and WWE run. The most memorable moment in that category was when he debuted on the main roster to face off with John Cena on Raw on May 18, 2015. The crowd was so interested in that segment. Great to watch that again.
The match selection is strong, of course. Owens is one of the best in-ring performers in WWE no matter who his opponent is. That’s the sign of a great worker.
The documentary was outstanding, and is the main reason I bought the DVD. Owens plays a heel on television that is easy to hate because of how much of a jerk he is, but when you watch the journey he took to get to WWE, it makes you smile. It also makes me wonder why it took so long. I know Owens doesn’t have the body type that WWE loves. Watch him work, though. Listen to him talk. He’s a superstar that should have been in WWE many years earlier. Good thing is at 33 years of age, he still has many years ahead of him to build a legacy.
I’ve only met Owens once, at the WrestleCon event in 2014 during WrestleMania weekend in New Orleans. That was right before his WWE tryout. I remember at that time everybody thought it was inevitable that he would get signed, so I wished him luck. I regret not taking a picture with him or getting a shirt, because he was packing up. Once I told him I was a Canadian that was proud to see another Canuck doing well, we talked a bit about his travels and what was next for him. I made it a point to tell him I was a big fan. Three years later, I’m an even bigger fan and look forward to telling him that again.
This DVD is a great purchase, because it’s a feel-good story of a guy who always wanted to be a wrestler who ended up living his dreams. If you try hard and have a passion for what you do, it may work out just like it did for Kevin Owens. Lucky for us, we get to watch him live that dream and his career is just getting stated. Fight Owens Fight.