With Steve Austin week in full bloom, Kevin Owens returned to The Bump to talk about the WWE legend. Owens revealed that Austin’s run as The Ringmaster was one of his favorites.
“One of my favorites of Stone Cold was when he came to WWE as the Ringmaster,” Owens said. “I was a huge fan of the Ringmaster. And from what I understand, the Ringmaster didn’t have a whole lot of fans. But I was sold from the get go. I remember those early months as the Ringmaster fondly. One of those memories was when my father used to play hockey and they had TVs at the arena. There was always the one TV that played wrestling on the French TV, and they played it without the sound. I remember seeing his debut on TV as the Ringmaster there. It’s tattooed into my brain now. I couldn’t tell you who he was wrestling or anything like that, but that’s the first time I saw Steve Austin.
“Then he came back in 2003 after leaving in 2002. He made his return in Montreal against Eric Bischoff. There was a huge snowstorm that day. My buddy and I went and it was really treacherous, really rough getting up there on the roads. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. When he came out I literally lost my mind. It left my brain, it was gone. I almost passed out; I was going insane. Just from screaming and losing my composure. At that point I thought Steve Austin was coming back to wrestling. So yeah; that’s a memory I’ve got.”
Owens has adopted the Stunner as his finishing move as a tribute to Austin. Not only has he gotten Stone Cold’s approval, but Austin has even helped Owens perfect the move.
“You’d think after seeing Steve Austin hit the Stunner on so many people that I’d have figured it out,” Owens said. “But I’m glad I had that breaking down of it by Steve himself, so I could hit it successfully. I spent two and a half years training to hit a Stunner properly.”
Owens was then asked if he would add a variation to the Stunner to make the move more his own. Owens revealed why he doesn’t plan on doing that.
“You have to understand how controversial it is that I do the Stunner still,” said Owens. “Even after Austin gave me his blessing to do it! People get upset that I do the Stunner. And a lot of people ask ‘well what if you made it your own?’ I’ve considered it but ultimately I don’t want to. Because that’s the thing; I don’t wait it to be ‘that was Kevin Owens’ finisher’ in ten years. No. I’m doing Steve Austin’s old finishing move.
“I asked him to do it, he said it was fine. It’s a tribute to him in a way but it’s also a thrill for me to do it. So I don’t want to make it my own. I’m fine with it being Steve’s move that I get to do.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription