Finn Balor returned to NXT late last year to reinvent himself, or in a better way, find who he could truly be after being lost on the main roster. It has, for the most part, been a blessing for “The Prince.” He feels like a bigger deal than he had his two years prior on Raw and SmackDown. NXT can be a place of finding or rediscovering who you are as a professional wrestler. Especially for those who could go to the main roster only to luckily return down the line. That brings me to Kevin Owens, who for the better part of the last year since returning from injury has been on the babyface side for the first time in his WWE career. And while it was a welcoming change, it has been one that’s seen Owens fall down the card and now have no match at SummerSlam.
To many, SummerSlam is the No. 2 in terms of PPVs in WWE. And the fact that Owens, someone who has been one of WWE’s top stars for the past five years, has no match on the show proves something may not be clicking. Then you look back to November 2019, where Kevin Owens shocked the world as the mystery partner for Team Tommaso Ciampa at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. He felt like a megastar compared to almost everyone else. And then poof. That was it for the return to NXT for Kevin Owens. Almost a year later, he is lost. Proving that he should have had an extended stay in NXT. And it’s not too late, especially if they still have nothing for him.
“Fight Owens Fight” was alive and well for one night. One special night where Kevin Owens recaptured that devious side that made him the NXT Champion faster than anyone who had ever attempted to capture it before. It felt right but it was over before it could even get started. Had he stayed, who knows the TakeOver matches he could have had, the rivalries that may have been planned out? All of it went to ruins and for what? So he could beat Seth Rollins at WrestleMania and eventually be lost in the shuffle? Kevin Owens is far better than that.
And yes, an injury and him leaving to be home with his family did prove to be detrimental to his run on the main roster. However, they have had over a month to give him something, anything for SummerSlam, and instead, he sits here without a match. Time in NXT would be great for him. His first run didn’t even last as long as many, and the prospects of a match against Johnny Gargano or Keith Lee is too hard to pass up. There’s the natural choice of Adam Cole as well. It depends where they’d want to go with Owens, but considering the struggles NXT has had to bring in viewers and keep their men’s division elite at times, Owens would certainly improve that.
Don’t get me wrong. Kevin Owens has his flaws and his doubters, but the man is an incredible professional wrestler. On the mic, in the ring, he brings it all. There’s a reason he is a former NXT and Universal Champion. And one man that saw that potential sooner than any is Triple H. He still very much does see that. A babyface run in NXT is new, exciting, and perfect for all parties involved. The top of Monday Night Raw is flooded. And with Drew McIntyre as the dominant WWE Champion (for now), Owens would have to turn heel to get a shot it seems. Unfair to him as he has figured out his babyface version of himself and is thriving when given the chance.
Triple H has talked about Owens wanting to return to the brand. They even teased it on television around Survivor Series. Only a number of months ago in an interview with CBS Sports did Owens reveal there were plans for him to go back to the brand.
“I think Triple H touched on it in the past in some interviews,” Owens said in the interview. “For a while there, it looked like I was going to head back to NXT. I had even discussed it with Vince McMahon and stuff like that. I was excited about it. I don’t know if it would have been a long or short term thing.
“I’ve been vocal about wanting to go back there because I’d love to help make it grow even more and help make it as big as it can get and make it so we have three brands people know about. I would love for people to be just as aware of NXT as they are about Raw and SmackDown. I would have loved to be a part of that, but some decisions were made that I had to stay put on Raw and SmackDown. That’s fine, but I would love the chance to go back.
I’m not saying this is going to happen for Owens. Maybe there is something coming for him that will completely make my thoughts wrong on what they should have done and having no match at SummerSlam is part of that plan. But Kevin Owens needs to be a featured performer on any show he’s on. If that is not to be Raw, then let it be NXT.
He should have had an extended return to the black and gold brand and there is no reason he can’t still have that run. Allow “The Prizefighter” to return. Let Kevin Owens release the side of him that got him to the world championship level. He wants to be there. In doing so, you will make the product better. Let Owens bring back what the saying “Fight Owens Fight” means. And perhaps, let it all go down in NXT.
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