There is no doubt that Kevin Owens is the top heel in modern day WWE. His in-ring antics, work on the mic and even his recent comedic attempts as a commentator/ring announcer, Owens is beginning to carve his own niche into the WWE landscape.
After going in as the odds-on favourite in the ladder match at WrestleMania, it came as a shock to many when underdog Zack Ryder stunned the world and captured the Intercontinental Championship.
At first, this looked like a bad booking decision by the WWE. However, what the most recent episode of Monday Night Raw showed us was that they were still going to be able to continue the Owens vs Zayn rivalry that was heavily tipped to be leading up to SummerSlam over the IC title.
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Matches between these two will be epic, and the WWE has recognised that they don’t need to place a championship stipulation to make them amazing because they will brilliant be no matter what.
At the same time, WWE has created a fan favourite in Zack Ryder; but also, by brining Maryse back alongside The Miz on Raw this past week and having her help The Miz capture his fifth Intercontinental Championship, may have set another intriguing mid-card feud worthy of replacing it.
It’s evident that WWE want to move Owens out of the mid-card and make him a main event player… And this is how to do it.
The best way WWE can capitalise and certify Owens as a top superstar is to hype on about how dangerous he is in the ring and with foreign objects, and his weapon of choice… a Ladder!
Owens is yet to actually win a ladder match in WWE and a loss at WrestleMania 32 hasn’t helped cementing him as a specialist in this type of match. His ladder match with Sami Zayn (formerly known as El Generico) in Ring of Honor, is probably the best match in that promotions history to date. It was the match that put Owens on the map so WWE could follow suit in using this type of match to make him the biggest star in the company.
Owens must win this year’s Money in the Bank. The Money in the Bank contract is perfect and totally suits the top heels of the WWE to give them a championship win over a big babyface. It’s obvious that WWE want to expand on the Owens vs Zayn rivalry, so post-WrestleMania, you would expect a one-on-one match at Payback, and then probably a street fight of some variety at Extreme Rules. Historically, Owens has the upper hand over Zayn and the two could trade victories leading up to Owens winning the MITB Contract.
So Owens has the MITB briefcase, so when does he cash-in?
The summer of 2016 should consist of one major rivalry over the WWE Championship, with three sides of the McMahon family headed by WWE’s three top stars. On one side, you have Roman Reigns supported by Vince McMahon, another you have Shane McMahon supporting The Phenomenal AJ Styles, and finally you have The Authority of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon and there guy…Seth ‘Freaking’ Rollins.
Reigns has really struggled to be the top babyface, as fans are more inclined to gravitate towards more indy-style wrestlers like AJ Styles and Kevin Owens. AJ Styles won a tremendous fatal four-way on Monday Night Raw, making him the number one contender for the WWE title. This match was set up by Shane McMahon, so therefore WWE creative could play off the card that he is supporting AJ as a guy who didn’t get the opportunities in the company because of The Authority.
The two most likely are set to main event Payback, and this is the perfect opportunity to turn Roman Reigns heel. Everyone will be behind AJ Styles no matter what, so having Roman as the babyface in the match being booed just doesn’t make as much sense as having him as the ultimate heel and getting real heat.
And who is the perfect man to get that heel turn out of him? None other than Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
It’s no secret that Vince has high appraisals of Roman Reigns behind the curtain. He practically forced what he wanted at this year’s WrestleMania in having Roman winning the main event against Triple H, fully well-knowing the fans were going to boo him and not want to see it. So why not put them together on camera?
WWE could sell the relationship similar to how Austin sold his soul to the Chairman back at WrestleMania 17. Vince could be the creator of the Roman Empire and Roman can be Vince’s new bitch. So somehow, in the main event at Payback, WWE can have Vince screw AJ Styles to stick it to his son’s ‘boy’ and align himself with Roman Reigns.
To certify it, WWE creative could use matches at Extreme Rules and Money in the Bank to validate Roman’s heel turn with him feuding with the likes of Dean Ambrose and Cesaro. In this time, AJ Styles and Shane McMahon have gone missing from WWE television for a couple of months. Roman beating a guy like Cesaro sets up that he is rivalling with guys who have made it through the independent circuit and haven’t been spoon fed from Vince. This then sets up a match with the most phenomenal indy stars ever signed to WWE at SummerSlam.
It was expected that Triple H and Stephanie would take a break from television after this year’s WrestleMania. This leaves the opportunity to have Roman with Vince running the show as the top heel combination.
Before SummerSlam, Triple H and Steph should return, not as babyfaces, but as that in-between catalyst. Their hatred of Roman Reigns should continue and they should bring back somebody who hates him just as much. Seth Rollins is set to be medically cleared soon, and WWE creative should look at exploiting him as an enigma, focused on capturing what his rightfully his and that’s the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
There’s a massive divide within the McMahon family which will create great television, plus the Seth vs Roman feud that we have been waiting for can finally happen. But, to capitalise on this further, WWE can inject Shane McMahon and his man, AJ Styles, into the match, making one hell of a triple treat.
This matchup presents the perfect opportunity for AJ to capture his first WWE World Championship. Fans from all around the world would be so happy to see AJ finally make it in the WWE and Reigns knocked off the top perch. Seth is just beginning his road to redemption which should culminate over a long period of time through in great storytelling.
However, what this opportunity presents is the chance for a major swerve; and that being Kevin Owens shocking the world and walking out of SummerSlam 2016, with his first world championship in WWE.
What the lead-up to this year’s WrestleMania showed fans on WWE television is that the dream matches between Kevin Owens and AJ Styles are as good as we thought they would be… so why not keep having them and making them better.
At Night of Champions, WWE should set up the one on one matchup. It could be the opportunity for Owens and Styles to wrestle there first 30 minute plus main event, similar to their ironman match that they had at the Atlantic City live show. In what is a competitive and back and forth matchup, Owens should retain the championship.
However, the Owens vs Styles feud needs to go on longer than this. One big PPV matchup does settle the score a little, but for it to become a memorable and long lasting feud it needs to continue over several months.
At Hell in a Cell, The Authority, Vince and Shane are still feuding. One of their guys needs to back on top of the WWE title picture so they could set up a triple threat number one contenders re-match from SummerSlam. Owens still needs to establish himself as a world champion so who beater to put him over than the biggest superstar in the WWE… no not The Big Show, but The Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar!
Lesnar deserves another title shot and taking down a cocky champion like Owens, perfectly suits his characters persona. Owens has already shown traits of ‘cowardness’ so to avoid Owens just leaving in a match against Lesnar, it should be inside Hell in a Cell.
At Hell in a Cell, AJ should once again defeat Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, showcasing that he is better than the two of them. This could leave to both Vince and The Authority denouncing Roman and Seth as they are both good enough to get the job done. Due to some shenanigans involving The Authority, Owens should find a way to conquer The Beast. Once again, this sets up the Owens vs Styles and makes it clear to the WWE audience that the two superstars are the best superstars on the WWE roster.
Going into Survivor Series you have AJ as number one contender and Owens as the champ. However, WWE shouldn’t book the rematch at this PPV, the two should captain respective teams in a traditional Survivor Series match. The other option is Shane McMahon captains a team lead by AJ Styles and The Authority captain the other lead by their new guy, Kevin Owens.
Last year’s Survivor Series really struggled due to lacklustre five-on-five matches, so by having teams captained by champion and challenger, this should put an empathise and make the match the focal point of the night.
Team Owens should consist of Roman Reigns, a heel tag team like the Dudley Boyz, and then someone from NXT. Roman still should find himself on the team as a heel and WWE could use it as an opportunity of him proving himself to The Authority. A guy like Austin Aires is believable to want to join a team captained Kevin Owens. A guy like Samoa Joe could want to put his differences aside with Owens to take down an old rival in AJ Styles. Personally, I’d go with Joe, but putting either in the match would be an appropriate option.
Team Styles has to consist of Sami Zayn because he has to want to get back at his former best friend. A former lone survivor like Dolph Ziggler also makes sense to be on Team Styles. They could go with Seth Rollins instead, but maybe pushing him in another direction for a while would be a more suitable option. The Usos should also be on the team to start with. After they’re done with their feud with the Dudleys, the Usos would gravitate towards a feud involving trying to turn Roman face again; only to be eventually taken out by Roman and out of the Survivor Series match.
At Survivor Series, Styles is still without the Usos and therefore two partners down, so what does he do? He brings in his family. Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows have signed with WWE and are expected to debut once there duties with New Japan Pro Wrestling are done. This would be the perfect time to debut the former Bullet Club members, and be the catalyst in Styles’ team winning at Survivor Series.
Off the back of Team Styles’ victory, WWE then needs to push onto TLC where the main event is Kevin Owens defending the belt against AJ in, of course, a TLC match. There is no better dream match stipulation for these two to have and it has five-star quality written all over it.
Owens has now been cemented as the ladder specialist after winning MITB, and should be built as the favourite going into the matchup; only to be upset and AJ walking out TLC with his second WWE World Heavyweight Championship and thus beginning his run as the top guy in the WWE.
So there you have it, an investigative look into how WWE could book Kevin Owens into winning a WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but let’s also look at the takeaways this article presents and maybe some potential matchups for WrestleMania 33.
- Kevin Owens is put over has the top heel in the WWE. He holds a victory over Brock Lesnar and this could mean that WWE fans get to see Owens vs Lesnar II in a grudge rematch at WrestleMania 33. Whether you remain Owens on the side of The Authority is debatable, but they could be the extra edge in giving him an advantage against the Beast.
- AJ Styles is the World Champion and gets his opportunity to mainevent WrestleMania. After almost 20 years in the business he reaches the pinnacle and can defend his belt on the grandest stage of them all against an old rival like Samoa Joe. He could also gravitate his character more towards one that resembles him from his New Japan days, by having Anderson and Doc in his corner.
- Seth Rollins is back and still originally on side with Triple H. After being denounced by The Game a potential feud that was reportedly scheduled for last WrestleMania should follow. The other option is pushing Seth to the mainevent of WrestleMania 33 and potentially having him finally recapture what he never lost. A one-on-one match with AJ Styles to close the show at WrestleMania 33 would be one hell of sight.
- Roman Reigns looks like a real hateable heel and would get strong heat from taking out the Uso’s and aligning himself with the Authority for a brief period. This could set up a match with his cousin The Rock, over the prestige and heritage over the Anoaʻi Family. This could be a great opportunity to celebrate the Anoaʻi Families legacy also.
- The introduction of Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows to the main roster is exciting. This sets up the possibly of a recreation of the Bullet Club, or even a ‘Balor Club’ leading into WrestleMania. The two are also arguably the best tag team in the business today and could set up a dream match against the Dudley Boyz at the event.
Is this how you would have Owens winning the belt? What are the other takeaways you could see from this happening, let us know in the comments sections.