Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are a pair of star-crossed superstars that seem destined to be forever intertwined. Speaking on the In This Corner podcast for CBS before this past Sunday’s WWE Hell In A Cell pay-per-view, Owens discussed how his relationship with the fan-favorite underdog translates to fantastic chemistry in the ring.
“Sometimes you have chemistry with people that is undeniable, and it just works, and sometimes you have matches with someone you think you are going to have good chemistry with, and it just doesn’t turn out that way. Sami and I have known each other for well over 15 years, so being here is the latter stage for us. We’ve been friends, we’ve been enemies, and have been at each other’s throats, and have been at each other’s side, we have done it all. We have been in every match possible. We’ve put each other through a lot, but also have been there for each other, so I think that translates to good chemistry at times.
“I would say that we are more like brothers than we are friends because we don’t choose our relatives, or who your brother and sister are; you don’t choose your family. You are born into your family, and in this case we weren’t born into each other’s family, but from the start of our careers when we started wrestling, on the Independent scene in the United States, or even back home in Canada, once we started to get our names out there and become more recognized, people just started booking us together all the time, which wasn’t our choice, they just paired up the ‘guy in the mask’ and Kevin Steen together and it just snowballed from there into where we are now.”
And while many fans and critics cry foul for Zayn’s limited position on the roster, Owens believe his best friend is exactly where he belongs.
“I don’t think anybody deserves anything than what they already have because I believe everyone gets what they deserve. I’m not saying Sami doesn’t deserve a bigger role; I’m saying Sami will get a bigger role eventually. I think everyone deserves a bigger role, but I don’t think that is being taken away from them on purpose, and I believe everyone will get what they will get, which is what I believe. Some will tend to disagree with me on that, but that is okay, I’m not one to worry about popularity with my co-workers, I’m just who I am and that’s just how it is. Sami will get his on his time; you will eventually get to where you belong if you believe you deserve to be there.”
While Zayn has struggled to climb to the next tier in the WWE, Owens has enjoyed an almost constant spotlight since his arrival. In just a few short years, he’s held the United States, Intercontinental, and Universal titles, and has been featured in the ring against everyone from Chris Jericho and A.J. Styles to John Cena and Roman Reigns. Though his in-ring talent is excellent, it’s his personality that really separates him from the rest of the roster. Owens is currently one of the top love-to-hate wrestlers in the company, but regardless of his status as heel or babyface, he doesn’t let a label influence his performance.
“People throw these words around so much: Heel, babyfaces, shoot, kayfabe, work; all this crap that they hear wrestlers say, but I can honestly, genuinely say that I am not trying to be a heel. I don’t know if that makes me a good performer or a bad performer, because I am sure many veterans of the industry will have their opinion, but I try to give the best performance that I can, and try to achieve the goal that is required of me, which often leads to people hating my guts or loving what I do.
“I always strive to receive the loudest reaction that I can; whether that is being booed out of the building or being cheered. One-hundred percent of what I do isn’t to achieve one time of reaction, I just want them to be loud and get an emotion out of them, which is what I strive for. People ask me how I am such a good heel, but I don’t know; I just try to be me and go and do what I need to do to get the job done on any show that I am on and achieve the work that is set up in front of me. If people enjoy my work then that is great, but I don’t set out a goal in getting a reaction, but just try to do what I can.”