Kevin Owens has had one of the most interesting years of any WWE superstar.
The former Universal Champion began the year in a triple threat WWE Championship match with Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley on Day 1 and nearly captured the Raw Tag Team Championship with Seth Rollins in March in a match against RK-Bro. and Alpha. Academy.
In April, Owens went toe-to-toe with one of WWE’s greatest superstars of all time in «Stone Cold» Steve Austin at WrestleMania and engaged in a summer feud with Ezekiel. In recent weeks, Owens has caught up with The Bloodline, who has reigned supreme on the brand all year.
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Owens now finds himself wrapping up the year in a tag team match with John Cena on the final show of SmackDown in 2022. The duo will join forces to take on Roman Reigns and Owens’ old friend Sami Zayn.
«Every time I’m in the ring with Roman and Sami it’s great and special because they’re both tremendous performers,» Owens told Fox News Digital in a recent interview. «And then teaming up with John Cena is a great way to close out the year. I’m really looking forward to it.»
Cena has already been announced for the last SmackDown show of the year and Owens said he didn’t need much convincing to get the 16-time WWE Champion on his side to take on Reigns and Zayn. Cena hasn’t appeared on a WWE show all year, and his last live in-ring match was against Reigns for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam 2021.
«You know it really doesn’t take a lot to convince,» Owens said. «Every time John has an opportunity to come down and do this, he takes it. The bottom line is if he hadn’t had a game before the end of the year, he would have broken his 20-year streak.» have a party every year. And I think that’s very near and dear to him. I think it’s something he really wanted to do and as soon as he saw the opportunity, he jumped at it.»
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One of the biggest sticking points for Owens is the chance to perform in the ring again with Zayn. The two Quebec natives have been friends since before they began wrestling on the Canadian province’s independent circuit. Owens said that he and Zayn would travel everywhere together to do shows and connect on their long journeys and eventually end up in WWE.
«I often say, and you know I’ve said it on TV, he’s more like a brother than a friend, and it’s really true because you don’t get to choose your family,» Owens explained to Fox News Digital. «You’re born into a family and whoever your brother is, your brother or any brother is your brother. That’s what happened. We met, and at that time in the Quebec independent wrestling scene, we were pretty much the top talent .that people wanted to see everywhere, and we started getting bookings everywhere together.
«And we got to know each other, and we’re very different people. That’s why I say that he’s really more of a brother than a friend because we’ve had our ups and downs, and we’ve been through s— «Ultimately, I’d take a bullet for the guy and I think I would say the same. Now, we are in the ring on opposite sides and what has happened many times before will probably happen many times again. It’s an interesting dynamic now because there are other people involved. It’s like the first time he’s got people on his side and all that. It’s been a lot of fun spending the last 20 years of our careers chasing each other or being partners or fighting each other, and now we get to do it in WWE.»
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Being the best of friends in the pro wrestling industry also comes with wild stories, and Owens shared with Fox News Digital one of the nights the two had to sleep in Zayn’s car because an axle broke. They were in the parking lot of a Walmart and were woken up at 3 am by a security guard.
«They woke us up at 3 am with flashing lights all around us because we weren’t supposed to sleep in this parking lot. And for some reason, (Zayn) wakes up and asks me, ‘Are we being kidnapped?’ I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? Just talk to the security girl.’ But the security girl just asks us, ‘Hey, you guys can’t sleep here,’ and then we leave. I said, ‘What do you mean? with kidnapped?’ (He said) ‘I woke up all the lights, I thought maybe this was a spaceship.’
«We parked somewhere else, I fell asleep and then I heard him whispering. What’s this? He’s like, ‘You think he likes me?’ Like who? ‘The girl’. What girl? ‘The security girl! The girl who told us to leave’. Like what? What do you mean? You talked for 30 seconds! It’s just little stories like that. Too many little stories that I remember now that to other people might not make sense. But to me, they’re like, they saved our lives.»
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With the year coming to an end, Owens is trying to understand what 2023 will bring even though stepping into the ring with Austin at WrestleMania will never be topped.
«I don’t have a lot on my radar,» he told Fox News Digital. «I just learned to let things come to me. That ‘Stone Cold’ match at WrestleMania, I never would have imagined would happen, and I didn’t really chase it. It just fell into my lap.
«But the only thing I wanted to do for a long time is get in the ring with Roman Reigns in front of an audience, because the last time he and I were in the ring together was during the pandemic in front of a bunch of screens and empty buildings. And I remember thinking back then, if we had a crowd in this arena, that would be great. And I wanted the chance to do that and now it turned my head. Here we are. Who knows what’s going to happen from here on out.
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«In Tampa, it’s me and John against him and Sammy. So who knows from there. For the foreseeable future, my only goal is to give the ‘Tribal Chief’ everything I have in front of an audience and let’s see where we do it. «. You can take people with it.»
The last SmackDown show of the year will take place on Friday. The show begins at 8 pm ET on FOX.