Kevin Owens debuted in WWE NXT just about six years ago, in December 2014 at NXT Takeover: R Evolution. Owens’s first Takeover would immediately set him on a collision course with Sami Zayn for the NXT Title. From there, Owens would headline multiple Takeovers, get a singles victory over John Cena, and win the Intercontinental Championship all within a year of his WWE debut.
Going back to Owens’s first match, KO took a quick singles W over CJ Parker, now NJPW’s Juice Robinson. In a bonus clip from his WWE Chronicle episode, Owens discussed his emotions as he waited in WWE’s gorilla position for the first time.
“I remember this moment pretty specifically,” Owens said. “So like, the music’s playing, but nobody knows it’s my music. Even before this, like right before the show started, you know they have the ‘Then, Now, Forever’ graphic, I was watching that. It really rocked me because I had seen that graphic so many times, and now I knew I was going to be on the show it was airing for.
“I just remember thinking, this is fifteen years, and now here we are, finally. Because it felt like it took forever to get there, but at the same time, it’s probably exactly how it should’ve been.”
As soon as the bell rang, the Prizefighter exploded out the gate, hitting Parker with a flurry of clotheslines and cannonballs. While Owens dominated most of his quick victory, Parker landed a stiff palm strike to Owen’s face, breaking his nose in the process. Despite his painful first impression, Owens says he’s tight with the former IWGP United States Champion.
“And then CJ Parker came out and broke my nose,” Owens said. “And we became very close friends as a result. I actually just texted him not even 20, 30 minutes ago that six years ago today that he broke my nose and stole my heart.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit WWE Chronicle with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.