On episode 29 of E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness, former WWE Superstars Edge and Christian welcomed current WWE SmackDown Live Superstar Kevin Owens to the podcast. Among many other things, Owens said winning the WWE Universal Championship did not make him a so-called 'top guy', that he "plateaued" after his feud with Chris Jericho, and that he was disappointed by his performance during his angle with AJ Styles. Additionally, Owens talked about his feud with Shane McMahon and how beating down Vince McMahon on SmackDown Live has elevated his standing within WWE.
According to Owens, winning the Universal Championship did not make him a 'top guy' despite having expectations to the contrary.
"To me, I thought that was it. I'm like, 'alright, I'm the Universal Champion, so, clearly, this was going to, like, solidify me as the top guy that I've always wanted to be.' But I don't think it really did. It didn't turn out to be what I was hoping. Like, it didn't turn out to be this thing that would make me a top guy, the way like I felt that it would."
Notably, Owens suggested that he "plateaued" after feuding with Jericho and he admitted that he was not satisfied with his performance during his angle with Styles.
"The whole storyline with Jericho helped me get near where I needed to go, but then I felt like I hit a little… I kind of plateaued in a way. [Edge] said [he] enjoyed that series of matches with AJ, and I'm glad you did, and, hopefully, a lot of people did as well, but I don't know if I did. I don't know if I can say that I did, to be honest. I don't know if I was putting out my best stuff at the time."
With respect to working Shane McMahon, Owens acknowledged that the opportunity was a "big deal" for 'The Prizefighter' and he realized that working with Vince McMahon is "as big as it gets". Owens went on to say that getting physical with McMahon on SmackDown Live has taken his pro wrestling career to another level.
"Once that [angle with Styles] ended and I transitioned into that thing with Shane, I did feel like, 'oh man, working with Shane is a big deal.' And then, Vince throwing himself into the mix, I knew that that's as big as it gets. Not that many people get to do that with Vince, especially nowadays. If you look at the last five, six years, there hasn't been that many people who got to physically assault Vince in the way that I did, so, obviously, I knew that was a big deal and I did think, 'maybe this is what I've been waiting for' and so far it feels like that was it. Now, I feel like things have kind of been taken to a new level for me since that happened and I'm going try to run with it as [well] as I can."
Owens shared that he knew for a couple days that he would be involved in some physicality with WWE's Chairman. Owens explained that putting his hands on Vince McMahon was "surreal" because he never stopped being a fan of WWE.
"It felt like a huge deal, and, at the time, like, even doing it. I knew something was going to happen with Vince for a couple of days beforehand. I wasn't sure what it was exactly, so we ironed out everything that day, but when it happened, when I actually went through with it, it was just so surreal. Like, that's the thing about me and I've said this in interviews and stuff like that and I've told a lot of people that I never lost, like, I never stopped being a fan of WWE and I've been a huge fan since I was 11 years old." Owens said, "I'm just still such a fan, so to get to do that with Vince McMahon, forget about it. It was incredible! It's something in my [pro wrestling] career that I'll never forget."
Here we go. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Source: E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness