Kevin Owens On After The Bell: Podcast Recap

Kevin Owens recently appeared on the After The Bell podcast. On the show, they discussed Owens’ show stealing performance against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and how that match came to be. They also discussed why Kevin Owens re-signed with WWE, wanting to fight Matthew McConaughey and more.

On main eventing WrestleMania 38 against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin:

“It’s all downhill from here really [laughs]. I say that with the most optimistic point of view I can have, I mean that in a good way. It’s still unbelievable. Sometimes I will have my moments where I am sitting around and I’ll just pull it up on my phone. I’ll specifically watch that moment where the ref rings the bell. I still can’t believe that it happened, it’s really hard to process what happened honestly. It’s hard to put into words.” 

On that moment where it was real:

“So I know the moment you are talking about, when I said ‘I am looking for a fight.’ He turns and he gives me that glare, you see people behind him standing up and you start to feel the buzz. Man, moments like that are special. Another thing I remember really well, this might have been caught by the 24 documentary crew, at one point before we went out, I caught a glimpse of him pacing back and forth. He looked like a caged lion just ready to murder people. I’m like oh man, this is going to be wild. It was so surreal and so hard to put into words, I know that’s cliche when we talk about what we do. But I get these moments where I reflect on my career. I was thinking how crazy it was when I started with Cena, and people are like this is unbelievable. One thing I always hear is that ‘You have outlived any expectation any of us had for you.’ You know, the thing is, you look at me and I don’t fit the stereotypical look of a WWE Superstar. A lot of people thought they wouldn’t take 2 looks at me and that’s it. I got signed, that was a surprise. Then I won the NXT title 2 months in, what the hell is going on? Then I show up on Raw and I attack John Cena, then I face himmat the pay-per-view and I won. Then I won the Universal title, it just kept getting bigger and bigger. And then I beat the f*ck out of Vince McMahon on live tv. Now somehow, it keeps getting topped.”

On how he feels about this moment:

“I don’t know what moment tops this, can you figure it out? I had this moment of reflection where it just keeps getting bigger. You asked how I felt then, it’s the same way I feel now. I am just so grateful. It sounds so corny but that is really the truth.”

On enjoying the process more:

“So I shifted my focus when I resigned my contract a few months ago, but it was an on-going process for years. If you watch the documentaries they have done about me, whether it was my DVD, the 365 or the chronicle, the one thing I was always worried about is what is next and how to get bigger and get ahead. Because of that mindset, I lost out on a lot of cool moments that I ahd, but I didn’t appreciate them at the time because I was so worried about what’s next. Triple H, when he came back into the public eye at WrestleMania, we had that talent meeting and it was reported online that he said ‘You guys need to enjoy these moments.’ After what he went through, it’s a whole new meaning when he says that. Nothing hammers it home until you hear someone you have so much respect for, which I have for Hunter, say it after what he went through. It’s the same thing that Shawn Michaels told me a few years ago when I wanted to do more and I didn’t understand. It’s the same thing that Vince McMahon has told me, but it’s hard. At some point in the last few months, I have been trying to get that perspective. But a few months ago, something really clicked for me and WrestleMania definite;ly helped. I stopped worrying about how I am going to do bigger and get higher and reach for that top spot. Here’s the thing, it’s going to come if you are good enough. I feel like I have been here and I have been there, I was always worried about getting there when I was here. But it happened on its own. A few months ago I just decided I was going to focus on having a blast for the next few years. Since I have shifted that focus, things have been better than ever.”

On shifting that focus:

“It’s kind of funny that you bring up Dolph Ziggler, he’s a guy I respect a ton. I don’t think I have ever told him this but he’s one of the guys I would look at and think that I don’t want to be like Dolph, in the sense that he is so good, but I would see him so frustrated, because he is so good. He feels like he should be doing more and he is right. And I don’t want to be like that. This was when I was in 2015, I don’t want to be like that, coming to work and be frustrated. But guess what, when you are passionate, hungry, and you know you are good, it’s inevitable, it’s going to happen to everybody. If you don’t go through that, I’m not going to say you are in the wrong business, because I don’t believe that, but you need to have a better perspective. The hunger to do more and to contribute as much to the show as you can, that’s normal. But it’s important to try and find that perspective to enjoy it. I’m like man, Dolph never seems to enjoy himself, and that’s shifted. I see him now completely different. When he went to do that NXT stuff, I texted him to say that the promo was unbelievable, it was a Dolph I haven’t seen in years. It was really refreshing, but even before that, his attitude and energy has shifted. He is enjoying himself at work a ton more and I guess I don’t know what made it so[I am enjoying myself], maybe signing the new contract helped a lot because now I know that when WWE made it clear they wanted me to stay, I’m like well ok. It’s obvious that they want me to stay, so now maybe it took some of the pressure off. I feel confident in my position here. For a long time I loved my job, but I was frustrated because things were not going the way I wanted.”

On deciding to remain in WWE:

“Well I mean, I love all those guys, we know who we are talking about and we are close still. I talk to them fairly regularly, I haven’t seen them in a long time and haven’t been in the ring with them in like forever, and I had a blast with those guys on the independents. There was definitely an appeal there to go back and hang out with those guys, that would have been sweet. But ultimately, the thing that sealed the deal was Vince McMahon made it clear that he wanted me to stay. A part of me almost felt like, and this is going to sound corny, but this place is like a family, it really is, just like AEW is like a family for those guys as well. It’s not just the other wrestlers and performers, it’s the crew, everybody backstage and everyone that works behind the scenes. Some of my best friends in this company are not people that you see on camera. It was really hard to picture myself not coming to work on a Monday or Friday and not seeing those people. Obviously WWE made me an offer and that just sealed the deal altogether. It wasn’t style or anything like that, it just made the most sense.”

On Cody Rhodes returning:

“I’ve told him this before, but I am so proud of Cody. When he was here before, he and I got close pretty quickly, and then he left and that sucked. I have people in this business that are more like brothers to me than friends, it’s not everybody but there are a few that are like family. When Cody left that was a huge blow to me, we saw each other twice all the time he was gone. He felt like he wasn’t given the chance to be all that he could be in WWE, so he decided to bet on himself and leave. The only thing I did was that he asked me for some guidance, because he had never been on the independent scene before, and I gave him The Young Bucks number and to take care of this guy, and look what happened, they changed the industry, there is no denying it. Cody went out and he did that, he didn’t do it himself, but he was an integral part of that, and then he came back. I don’t know as much, but I think that was always his ultimate goal. As things were progressing, he might have changed his mindset and didn’t want to come back, because he was doing so well. But the opportunity presented itself for him to come back, and look how he came back, huge spot on WrestleMania. He’s been featured on Raw as a top star since, he’s working with the top talent, and that’s what he wanted when he left, and that’s what he wanted when he left. It’s really admirable and it’s really something. There’s something to be said about that and I am really proud of him.”

On outside performers coming to WWE:

“I always welcomed outside performers coming in if they are cool. Some of them aren’t cool, and as far as I am concerned they can go back to where they came from, we don’t need them. But man, the Jackass crew was unbelievable, and Logan Paul, people can say what they want about him, and that’s fine. But I have seen first hand this guy come in with a great attitude and wanting to do good stuff. He works hard and he gets it, nobody can deny it. People were asking me if I could have a match against anybody who would it be. A few years ago Matthew McConaughey came to a show and I couldn’t get to meet him because there was a line full of people wanting to talk to him. I didn’t get to see him, but I remember not long after that how he said he wanted to do something in WWE. I don’t know him at all but he seems like the kind of guy who would be coming in to do it right and have a blast. People like that can come on in any time.”

On how the Steve Austin match came to be:

“In 2005 I met him at an airport, my favourite wrestler of all time, I see him at an airport and I’ve got to talk to him. I was travelling with Sami Zayn at the time, Steve is in the corner by himself and I’m like ‘We’ve got to go and talk to Steve Austin.’ He’s like ‘What?’ He follows me and he says ‘Who are we fighting?’ He thought we were going to fight some people, didn’t know who, but we were going to throw down at the airport. I talked to Steve and asked for some advice and he told me to never stop running my mouth. I took that advice to heart immediately. Several years go by and I am the top indie guy, as humbly as I can say that, but I want more. I am listening to Steve Austin’s podcast every week and it always ends with an email question. I’m like you know what, I wonder if he remembers that 2005 meeting and he will invite me on the podcast. I emailed him, I told the story and I thanked him, 3 days later I am doing the podcast, that was a huge deal at the time. At the end of the podcast he says ‘I think that WWE should take a look at this kid.’ I got my try-out 3 months later, things were in motion but I’m sure him saying that didn’t hurt, and then I got signed. Everyone was doing powerbombs, so I need a new finishing move. What’s the best finishing move of all time? It’s the Stone Cold Stunner in my opinion, let me ask Stone Cold if I can use it, because it would be a great finisher to have. And also, maybe there is a chance he does come back, and if he does, wouldn’t it make sense to be with the guy doing the stunner? It all worked out.”

Featured image: Wrestling Headlines

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