In just five years with the WWE, Kevin Owens has won the Intercontinental championship, Universal title and United States championship. Add on a WrestleMania appearance against Chris Jericho and the Canadian-native has put together a good career in a short amount of time. More recently, Owens has partnered with Sami Zayn and even secured a tag-team victory over the New Day at Stomping Grounds.
Just like each WWE stars' career differs, so does their background and genesis into the business. On Lilian Garcia's podcast, Chasing Glory, Owens reflected on his background in professional wrestling and what his father brought home that helped define what he wanted to do when he grew up.
"When I was 11, my dad brought home a tape of WrestleMania 11. It was a VHS and had rented it from the local video store. We watched it and that was it," Owens said. "I sat down with him and about two hours in I said that it was what I wanted to do for a living."
In the interview, Owens talked about every kid in his 4th grade class was asked what he wanted to do. A few answers the children gave included an astronaut, doctor, police officer. Owens didn't have an answer. It's evident that WrestleMania 11 had a grande influence on the former-Intercontinental champ.
"The first wrestler that I saw that grabbed me was Davey Boy Smith. He was a super-jacked guy who was doing all these incredible things and I thought that this guy was really cool and as the show went on I appreciated everything I watched and then Shawn Michaels---because at the time I was really scrawny and pretty small," Owens claimed. "People thought I was 7 or 8 even though I was 11 so when Shawn Michaels, the smallest guy on the show came out, who ended up being the best wrestler on the shows, so I thought if he can do it I can too."
Wrestlers often tell stories of their first interaction to the industry. Some are showed the product during their early years when their parents have it on at home. At a young age, Owens gravitated towards professional wrestling and as he describes it, his parents encouraged the outrageous goal of becoming a professional wrestler.
"Besides my parents, they were so supportive of me and that's probably why I was so obsessed with it from the start I really didn't want to let them down," he said.
It's one thing for a pro wrestler enter the business with a mindset of moving up. Owens uses his WWE status to give back to those who love the industry as well. One could say it was due his parents' support that resonates with him to this day.
While talking to Garcia, Owens understands his impact he has on the industry.
"It's hard to value or realize the impact that you have on fans when you are in the moment. One moment will happen and then I will be ready to move to the next one and I barely appreciate the moments as they go by," he commented.
What's next for Owens is not clear. The WWE recently announced the hiring of Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff as the creative directors of RAW and Smackdown Live respectively. Perhaps that could lead to a bigger push for the Canadian-star. Multiple championships and main event matches have not gotten to the proverbial head of Owens. He even told Garcia that the pressure he puts on himself is due to the passion he has for the business.
"I remember when I was watching WWE it would make me feel like these things. It shaped me into who I am like these moments. I have so many moments in my head that will always be with me because of what I was watching and I am so desperate to create that for other people."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chasing Glory with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.