Source: Talk Is Jericho
Recently on Talk Is Jericho, WWE's Universal Champion, Kevin Owens discussed a number of topics including Jim Cornette's criticism of the so-called 'Prizefighter' and his relationship with WWE's creative staff, Kevin Kelly comparing him to the likes of professional wrestling legends Steve Austin and The Rock, how he used injured WWE Superstar Finn Bálor's body paint in his entrance video, and how he hopes to garner intense mixed reactions from crowds akin to the 15-time world champion, John Cena.
"I know Jim Cornette says the reason that I'm successful now is because I changed my attitude and I must be listening to what people tell me now and I used to not listen to him. But the thing is, I used to not listen to him or question his methods because because I didn't agree with him and I didn't share his vision. I really didn't change who I am." Owens added, "I don't just do what people ask me blindly, which I think with Jim, [he] would have liked me to do back then."
The so-called 'Prizefighter' stated that he has a good relationship with WWE's creative personnel.
"Honestly, from the moment I got here, people like producers, even the writers, everybody, I really feel like I had a really good relationship with everyone." Owens continued, "I really haven't had any encounters where my bad attitude would take over."
The master of the pop-up powerbomb indicated that he felt comfortable in his attitude in part because Kevin Kelly told him that Steve Austin and The Rock would also ask to redo segments that did not come off as they would have liked.
"Actually, it was Kevin Kelly, I'lll say, I might put some blame on Kevin Kelly here, but I remember, yes, Kevin Kelly came into Ring Of Honor to do commentary and kind of work behind the scenes as well. And I remember him telling me that he used to work with Rock and Austin and he would see the same thing. Like, because he would see me if we had a pretape and I didn't like the way it was, I'd ask to redo it and it would annoy some people, like the production guys or whatever or even whoever wrote the pretape or whatever. And Kevin said, 'look, it might be viewed as you being kind of hard to work with to some people, but I'm obviously not putting you in their league, but I'm saying The Rock and Austin used to do the exact same thing if they don't like it,' so, to me, that was a huge complement because I was like, 'okay, so because listening blindly to what people are telling you, if it's not you, it won't work.'"
Owens continued, "so him telling me that probably kind of prompted me to being, not set in my ways, but to really question when Jim would come up with something that I didn't like. But that was the first example of, like, where I felt like, 'so you know what? Being me is important' when Kevin Kelly affirmed that, 'well, the top guys in the [professional wrestling] business would do it, so why not me because that's what I want to be?'"
The former Kevin Steen shared an amusing story preparing for his WWE entrance video. Apparently, at the time, Owens was recently signed by WWE and he thought he had to get away from wearing a t-shirt and shorts as ring gear. Owens was going to shoot his entrance video in a newly made singlet, but Enzo Amore reminded him to be himself. The talk prompted 'K.O.' to turn his Guns N' Roses t-shirt inside-out and scrawl 'fight' on it using Finn Bálor's body paint.
"I remember when I first got to the Performance Center. They had this thing where they were going to take pictures and videos of everybody in their gear for the entrance video and stuff like that. But me, I hadn't debuted yet. I didn't have a name. I didn't know anything. So I had this nice singlet made because I'm in WWE. I can't wrestle in shorts and a t-shirt even though that's what got me here. So I showed up, put my singlet on, and Enzo of all people, looked at me. He was like, 'what are you doing?' I go, 'I'm a wrestler'. He goes, 'no, where are your shorts and your shirt and stuff?' [Owens replied] 'I don't have it. I have my shorts in my bag, but I don't have a shirt.' He's like, 'urgh, you've got to be you,'" Owens recalled. "I turned my Guns N' Roses shirt inside out, I cut the sleeves off, and I used Finn's paint. That's another thing. Finn's like, 'should I paint for this? I don't know if they want me in paint.' Enzo's like, 'yeah, put the paint on!' So I used Finn's paint to write, 'fight' on my shirt and that's how the look came about!"
The Jeri-KO member professed that he would like to garner loud mixed reactions from crowds like Cena one day.
"Even at a live event in, man, I'm trying to find a town that we did, like, a tiny town in Illinois, I forget, Danville, Illinois, I believe, I'm in the middle of the ring [Cena's] music hits and the noise, no matter how big the building is, no matter how big the crowd is, no matter if they're tired because it has been a long night, the noise, because it's boos and it's cheers, and it just hits the middle of the ring, it's the craziest sound. And to me, that's what I want one day. I don't want to be universally loved or hated. I want to have people going at it with each other because that's what John has." Owens said, "my look, it really had people at polar opposite sides, like, 'oh, he looks terrible' or 'oh no, it sets him apart'. That's to me, I like it. I like that some people hate it. I like that some people love it because I want that confrontation. I don't want anybody going, 'meh, I don't care.' Also the people who really hate it, bring out the people who love it. It's kind of funny, but that's how it works."
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