Kevin Owens has a lot of friends outside WWE. So, when his contract was coming up, there was obviously a lot of talk about the former universal champion potentially switching to AEW to reunite with his friends in the opposing company.
He ended up re-signing with WWE and admitted that direct contact with Vince McMahon persuaded him to stay. Speaking with Corey Graves on ‘After The Bell’, Owens talks about this and the debate between staying in WWE or stepping into an ‘All Elite’ ring with some of his old friends.
“I love all those guys, we know who we’re talking about, I’m so close to them still, I talk to them fairly regularly. I haven’t seen those guys in a long time and obviously, I haven’t been in the ring with them in forever. I had a blast when I was in the ring with those guys all the time when I was on the independents. So there was definitely an appeal there to go back and hang out with those guys and get in the ring with those guys, that would’ve been sweet. But ultimately the thing that really sealed the deal was Vince McMahon made it clear that he wanted me to stay. A part of me almost felt like it was going to be corny, but this place is like a family.”-Kevin Owens.
“Just like AEW is probably like a family for those guys as well and it’s not just the other wrestlers and performers. It’s the crew, it’s everybody backstage, it’s everybody that works behind the scenes. Like some of my best friends in this company aren’t people you see on camera. It was just really hard not picturing myself coming to work on Monday or Friday and seeing those people. Obviously WWE made me an offer, they wanted me to stay and that sealed the deal altogether. It wasn’t style or anything like that, it just felt like the best decision and it just made the most sense.”-Kevin Owens.
He also discussed what he told The Young Bucks when Cody Rhodes first left WWE which may have prompted the partnership which ended up changing the wrestling business.
“I’ve told him this before but I’m so proud of Cody. When he was here, he and I got close pretty quickly and then he left and that really sucked for me because I felt like I was really losing [a friend]. I have people in this business that are really more like brothers to me than friends, it’s not everybody but there are a few people out there that I consider more like family. Cody is one of them, so when he left, it was a blow to me. I figured, look, we’re going to be so busy, we’re barely going to see each other, which is true, we saw each other once, maybe twice the whole time he was gone. When he was going out on his own, he was doing it because he felt this was best for him. He didn’t feel like he was being given the chance to be what he could be in WWE, so he decided to bet on himself and leave.
“And the only thing I did, he asked me for some sort of guidance because he had never been on the independent scene before, and I gave him The Young Bucks’ numbers and I told them ‘can you guys take care of this guy?’ And look what happened. They really changed the industry, they did, there’s no denying it. Cody went out and did that, he didn’t do it himself, he had a lot of help and a lot of people but he was an integral part of that. Then he came back here, which I don’t know about as much, but I think that was always his ultimate goal. As he was doing it, as things were progressing, his mindset might have changed at some point and seen himself coming back at some point because he was doing so well.”-Kevin Owens.
The Young Bucks certainly did just that. Cody Rhodes was in need of some help on the independent scene and it’s unbelievable what happened as a result. He made his way back to WWE and his future has been exciting all types of fans.
H/t to WrestlingINC for the transcription