Kevin Owens Signs New WWE Contract
Kevin Owens is staying with WWE for the next few years. The news was first broken on Fightful by Sean Ross Sapp, and later confirmed by Owens himself in an interview with Pat Laprade. There was a lot of speculation that Owens might join AEW, given his ties to men like Adam Cole and the Young Bucks, who he worked with in Ring of Honor as Kevin Steen. Ultimately, Owens remains with the company that has employed him since late 2014.
Owens had the following to say:
"I will just say that it still ends on January 31, but not 2022. I will be there for several more years. The decision was rather easy because it was really the best thing for my family. When it comes to that, it's always a fairly easy decision. The WWE has been my home for seven years, so I have a sense of belonging. Basically, I spent most of my career there. When you look at all the wrestling companies I've wrestled in, WWE, that's where I've been the longest, that's where I need to be for the next few years. That's how I felt and that's the decision I made."
(transcription via Cultaholic Wrestling)
After a decorated career in ROH and various other independent promotions, Owens debuted in WWE in December 2014, appearing on the NXT brand at NXT TakeOver: R-Evolution. He would defeat CJ Parker (now known as Juice Robinson in NJPW) in his debut in the opening match, before turning on new NXT Champion Sami Zayn in the main event segment. Owens had a meteoric rise through the ranks, quickly defeating Zayn via doctor stoppage to win the NXT title, before going to the main roster a couple of months later- as NXT champion- and starting a feud with John Cena. Kevin Owens' greatest career accolade came when he won the vacant Universal Championship on Raw, after inaugural champion Finn Balor was forced to relinquish the title due to injury.
Thoughts: Good news for Kevin Owens, and good news for WWE fans, as Owens has been one of the highlights of Raw in recent weeks, featuring heavily as one of the challengers to the WWE Championship. The news of KO re-signing adds another layer to what is now a Fatal 4 Way at WWE Day 1- does WWE capitalise on Owens being in the headlines and put him on top for a spell? He's certainly credible enough to shake up the status quo on the Road to Wrestlemania.
I know a lot of fans also wanted to see Kevin in AEW. It is rumoured that his new contract goes between $2-3 million a year, something that Tony Khan was apparently unwilling to match. AEW have a stacked roster at the moment though, and WWE need Kevin Owens more than AEW needs Kevin Steen.