Kevin Owens Won't Stay Down
By Ryan Satin
Friday Night SmackDown on FS1 this week was as entertaining as always, but the highlight of the show was Kevin Owens' resiliency throughout the night.
Owens kicked things off attempting to lure Roman Reigns to the ring so he could enact revenge for last week’s attack.
Instead, he was outsmarted by "The Head of the Table," who reversed their roles by sneaking his way to the ring once KO started looking for him backstage.
Fueled by rage, Owens made the decision to confront Roman even if he was likely walking into a trap this way.
Which is exactly what happened.
Then, at the orders of "The Tribal Chief," Jey Uso continued to attack Kevin throughout the night to continually make a point. It was like Peter Griffin vs. that chicken on Family Guy, but backstage in WWE with Adam Pearce involved.
What I loved most about all of this, was Owens not letting any of it keep him down.
Even after being obliterated with multiple chair shots, going through two tables and getting the absolute hell kicked out of him by two Superstars in what seemed like the show closing moment … Owens got up to prove a point of his own.
That it’s going to take everything Roman has to keep KO down on Sunday in their Tables, Ladders and Chairs match.
This is important in rebuilding Kevin Owens on SmackDown as a top tier talent, where he belongs, and giving him some additional credibility as an opponent for Reigns going into TLC.
Even if Owens loses on Sunday, which many assume he will, WWE deserves credit for what they’ve done with him so far in this storyline. This is the toughest he’s looked on TV in awhile.
In my opinion, Kevin teeters between main event talent and upper midcarder far too often for someone of his calibre.
The 36-year-old wrestler is one of the best talkers in the company, one of the best in-ring performers and someone who has the ability to connect with audiences in way that many can’t.
When playing a babyface, you just want to see him succeed. His struggles and pain can be felt through the TV screen. This allows the viewer to go on the same journey with him each week.
His accomplishments feel like your accomplishments.
Kinda like someone saying "we" when their favorite sports team wins a big game, even though they themselves were sitting on the couch watching the game on TV while scrolling through Twitter.
Then, when Owens plays the heel, he has the ability to turn it around on you and make you regret ever cheering him on.
The guy is truly one of the best and it’s great to see him getting the push he deserves at the moment. Especially opposite Reigns, who is arguably the most compelling performer in wrestling at the moment.
The build to their match on Sunday has been top notch.
Hopefully the program can be stretched out beyond TLC if Owens has the odds stacked against him during the Universal title match, much like he did on SmackDown this week.
This would allow things to at least continue to Royal Rumble.
I know I can’t be the only one who would like to watch a series of matches between these two.
Roman and Kevin are both working at their best right now, therefore I see no reason why their program has to end in a few days.
Additional thoughts on this week’s episode of SmackDown:
- The Sami Awards were hilarious.
From Sami Zayn’s outfit, to just giving awards to himself, the Intercontinental Champion delivered a Slammy worthy performance in itself with his amazing parody of the annual awards show.
This punch to the you-know-what from Big E also made it memorable. At least for the WWE Universe, not Sami …
- Bianca Belair vs. Bayley was a great preview of what’s to come from these two.
I didn’t love Bayley getting a win here, even if riling up people like myself was the intended purpose.
WWE has done such a fantastic job of making Bianca look like a star up to this point. A loss here, albeit via eye rake, stunted that to a certain degree.
Bayley also didn’t really gain much by getting the win.
Hopefully this won’t be similar to when Bianca’s character couldn’t win her biggest matches in NXT. Because, in my opinion, that was what ultimately stalled her progression there and I don’t want to see the same thing happen on SmackDown.
- The team of Chad Gable and Otis has been a joy.
Otis being built back up again with Chad Gable was a smart use of both performers.
Gable’s evil smile also makes it look like he has ulterior motives for wholesome Otis, so I’m interested to see where it’s going.
- Billie Kay’s search for a tag team partner might have IIconics fans scratching their heads still, but I’m glad her comedic strengths are being maximized on Friday nights.
Hopefully the random pairings ultimately lead to something good for her character.
- Sasha Banks continues to exude star presence each time she appears on SmackDown and her sneaky attack on Carmella was no different Friday.
Though, if you’ve seen her appearance in "The Mandalorian" finale this week, you know it pales in comparison to what she does there.
Don’t worry. I’m not gonna spoil it for you.
I’m not that guy.