WWE – Kevin Owens – Fight Owens Fight (Cert 15)
2 Discs Blu-ray / 3 Discs DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 60 minutes approx.
If there is one thing WWE biographies do very well it is allowing us to get a better insight into the person behind the wrestling persona we see on TV, often revealing some of them to be quite decent human beings. Therefore it is quite a shock when we see this is the case with one of the most callous and arrogant characters on WWE TV today.
No, not Stephanie McMahon but Kevin Owens – the man who has betrayed not one but TWO best friends on WWE TV inside two years! As if to illustrate the duality of the man versus the wrestling persona, the documentary opens with Owens being interrupted by his young daughter, who wants to watch daddy being interviewed.
Until recently, you would never have seen a heel in such a scene as this would undermine their ability to draw heat; Jim Cornette would have blown a casket and taken half of Louisville with him but times have changed, as this revealing look at the treacherous Kevin Owens demonstrates.
It begins at the beginning when an 11 year-old Kevin Steen watched the home video of Wrestlemania 11 and loved the Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel WWF Title match. When he turned 14, Steen begged his parents to train to be a wrestler – even having his mother call up the wrestling school as he was in class at the time. Steen eventually ended being trained by Jacques “The Mountie” Rougeau and had his first match on his 16th birthday.
However, as explained in the extras and not the main documentary. Steen didn’t like Rougeau’s approach and he way he would force all his trainees to work exclusively for him every month when the Quebec indie scene offered more and wider opportunities. Steen also talks about how Rougeau loosely promised to get him a WWE tryout match but only if Steen signed a 10 year, 15% cut agent contract.
If you only know Steen by his wrestling persona, you can guess how that turned out! But it allowed Steen to make his name on the Canadian indie circuit, specifically for the International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS) promotion where he met his long time friend, partner and rival Sami Zayn, working under a mask as El Generico.
Footage from this era is shown, although it isn’t the best quality, presumably sourced from YouTube, which applies to the Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) and Pro-Wrestling Guerilla (PWG) clips that also feature here (nothing too violent though). At this point Steen is quite trim, clean shaven and very athletic while Zayn is skinny as hell. See if you can also spot Becky Lynch in one early group photo from his indie days.
Steen reveals that as a native French-Canadian he couldn’t speak English and learned from watching wrestling, crediting Jim Ross’s commentary for Steen being able to discern certain English words. After CZW and PWG, Steen and El Generico arrived in Ring Of Honour (ROH) and their memorable tag team run which ended with a massive year long feud is recounted.
ROH alumni Steve Corino and Chris “Jimmy Jacobs” Scobille are on hand to help tell this story along with footage of Steen turning on El Generico and clips of their matches. They recall how the feud would eventually be blown off in a Loser Leaves Town match, booked by Jim Cornette, which Steen lost but found himself out of a job, thinking it would only be a few weeks.
This led to Steen considering quitting wrestling as he was now married with a young son and no job until he reinvented himself in PWG before returning to ROH as a Stone Cold Steve Austin like outlaw, raising hell despite being fired. The story moves on with Zayn telling how he signed his WWE contract in front of Steen who hadn’t been offered on, to the surprise of no-one as they knew he wouldn’t be Vince McMahon’s “type”.
However with NXT now a growing prospect Triple H admits he sent William Regal to a PWG show to sign Steen, who was wrestling current NXT star Johnny Gargano that night and both impressed big time, with Gargano arriving in NXT a couple of year later. As Seth Rollins explains, while everyone rated Steen they all felt Vince wouldn’t have him on the main roster and Steen was told not to expect to advance beyond NXT. The rest as they say…
Whilst it is usual for the subject of these features to be praised by their peers, Steen certainly gets a lot of love from the likes of Zayn, Rollins, Gargano, Regal, Triple H, Corino, Scobille, Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Neville, Terry Taylor, Dean Ambrose and others – nothing from Jericho mind you – and it feels genuine. Steen himself comes across as quite humble but very focused, driven and sure of his abilities but never arrogant.
It is clear Steen is a family man at heart, not just towards his wife and two kids but his parents – who are also interviewed – and his grandparents too, whose initials are tattooed on his knuckles and whose graves he visits in one of the extra features. He has a good mind for the business and his commitment is unquestionable.
There is a healthy collection of amusing and revealing stories that could have been inserted into the main feature to eke it out past its meagre 60 minute run, and plenty of matches too. The main roster stuff is mostly already available on other releases, outside of a fan cam match of a house show match in Paris where Owens teamed with Triple H to face Ambrose and Zayn. If you’ve not seen Owens in NXT then his brief run there is well represented here too.
Despite being a huge louse on TV you can’t help but want to support Kevin Owens after watching this fascinating and comprehensive (as we’ll get from the WWE) telling of the Kevin Owens story.
Disc One (Blu-ray):
WWE Tryout Match
Reflections In Brooklyn
The Name Kevin Owens
NXT – February 18th 2015 – NXT Title Match – Kevin Owens (c) vs. Adrian Neville
WWE Payback May 1st 2016 – Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
Monday Night RAW – September 12th 2016 – Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
Monday Night RAW – November 21st 2016 – WWE Universal Title No DQ Match – Kevin Owens (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Rating – ****
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