With the Universal Championship on the line this Sunday at TLC, Kevin Owens is more fired up than ever to become a two-time champion with the title. With Roman Reigns keeping a stranglehold on the belt, Owens has been on the brutal end of attacks from Reigns and his cousin Jey Uso. When panelist Kayla Braxton of WWE's The Bump asked if this is one of the most disrespectful attacks he's received in his career, Owens told them while in character that it's not.
"No, no. I think Roman is just doing what he needs to do to, you know, keep the title and to keep thinking that he's this dominating and scary individual," Kevin Owens stated. "I've gone through more humiliating things. I've been disrespected even worse than that for 15 years before I got to WWE.
"I heard that I wouldn't make it, and I'm this, and I'm that, and I don't look right. I've proved all of those guys wrong, so at TLC, I have no problem proving that to Roman either."
Just two weeks ago on Talking Smack, Roman's "Special Counsel" Paul Heyman called out Braxton for her behavior during a segment that involved his "Tribal Chief." Heyman went further with the insults when he attacked Kevin's mom for raising a disrespectful gentleman. This week, Owens finally got the chance to speak his mind about those rude comments.
"Well, I think Paul can apply those principles to himself. 'Cause talking to Kayla the way he did and assuming that Kayla was somehow afraid or scared for her safety in the ring when I came in... He doesn't mean the things he said, he's Paul Heyman," he mentioned. "He's just trying to get to me before TLC.
"Here's the thing that people need to understand: I might not be or may have never been an official 'Paul Heyman Guy,' but Paul and I have had a lot of contact over the years. We've talked a lot of wrestling, and had many phone calls about this industry and this business. I know what he thinks of me deep down. He can't say it around Roman, but he knows what could happen at TLC. So, trying to get under my skin by bringing up my mom - she has COPD. Her lungs aren't that great, but she could still kick Paul Heyman's ass for what he said. They can try to get under my skin, but it isn't going to work."
Unfortunately, Owens and Jey's relationship as friends is tarnished until this feud concludes. Owens recalls what a joy Jey was to him and his son before all this madness began.
"I really liked The Usos, both Jey and Jimmy. I even liked their extended family - Tamina and Naomi," he noted. "So, to see what's happened to Jey now is very unfortunate. You know, I used to take my son to all the shows, and the thing he loved to do the most was hanging out in the back with the guys. The Usos were the most welcoming. They'd play with him all night; they always had a blast. I take full pleasure in what I did to Jey a few weeks ago.
"Unfortunately, it's collateral damage because of Roman. But as far as Jey goes, I can't tell you what he's thinking or what he's doing. Obviously, he's doing what's best for his family. Hopefully, he'll come around. I don't enjoy Jey having to be part of this."
Going into Sunday, Owens is confident that he'll do the right thing and play fairly in this match, something he believes Reigns won't do at all.
"Look, I've achieved everything I have on my own so far," he stated. "I've had friends and partners along the way but, you know, through my own actions, I've lost them all. Every decision I've made was because of me; no one forced me to do what I wanted to do. I'll live with the consequences and go from there."
You can watch Kevin Owens' full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE's The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.