Kevin Owens has evolved since his WWE debut six years ago, and so has his offensive arsenal.
A few years ago, Owens busted out the iconic Stone Cold Stunner in a match against Roman Reigns, but wasn't able to put him away. Austin later had Owens on his Steve Austin Podcast as a guest, and the two would discuss the spot. Since then, Owens has adopted the move as his full-time finisher. As Owens tells Fightful, he wanted to use it as his match-closer, but it wasn't the appropriate time for a few more years.
"I asked Austin if I could do it, first and foremost. I had been thinking about it for awhile, this was back in 2016-17, and I felt like everybody was doing a powerbomb of some sort, just short of doing pop-up powerbombs. I'm pretty sure I saw some guys do it too. That's a whole other thing of people take from other people and when we're all on the same show and same team, that's a whole other issue. I was seeing all these people doing powerbombs and I want to stand out with something different. At the same time, I wanted to do something that people can be excited about. I got this feeling of 'maybe I can use the Stunner.' It's been used throughout the years by a lot of people, but it wasn't a finishing move anymore. I thought, 'Maybe if I get advice from Stone Cold himself, I can figure out how to make it a finishing move again.' I went to him, asked him if I was okay with him using it and he was very happy to say yes. He was wondering when someone would come ask him. He gave me the green light, I took it through the proper channels and it was deemed that it wasn't the right time for it, but eventually it became the right time and here we are now. I'm doing my best to keep it...I call it the Stunner because I'm never going to change its name, it wouldn't feel right. I'm doing my best to do right by it. That's also a polarizing issue. Some people love it, some people really don't like that I do it. Those people can take their opinions elsewhere. Steve Austin said I can do it and I'm not gonna stop anytime soon," Owens told Fightful.
Owens has seen a few signature moves make an impact over the last 15 years or so -- The Stunner, the pop-up Powerbomb, and the package piledriver. One you shouldn't expect him to do any time soon is the Steenalizer. It did appear in a WWE video game, but that's the last you'll see of it.
"I retired that one myself, actually. I had a couple of close calls where, everyone I gave it to was fine, but I felt like it was too close where maybe it wouldn't have been fine. I would be upfront with everybody I was going to give that move to like, 'it's kinda crazy, I wouldn't take it. If you don't want to take it, tell me.' I never had anyone say no. It was literally fine every time, but I felt like a couple of times it was a close call and it's just not worth it in the end, so I retired it myself. It obviously isn't something I would do in WWE because we used to do this four-five times a week, every week, and it's not a move you want to give people that work that hard and put their bodies through that much punishment on a daily basis," Owens said.
You can see Kevin Owens in action this Sunday at WWE TLC when he takes on Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship. Saturday morning, he's the subject of the latest episode of WWE Chronicle, both of which can be seen on the WWE Network.
Check out our full interview with Owens above.
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