Check another item off the bucket list for Kevin Owens. The current NXT Champion made his debut for the WWE’s main roster on Saturday night at a house show in Tampa, Florida.
Owens wrestled Adrian Neville in the opening match of the show, which took place from the Amalie Arena (formerly the Tampa Bay Times Forum). According to a fan report posted on Figure 4 Online, the ending of the Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn main event from NXT Takeover: Rival last week was shown on the big screen to fans in attendance prior to the start of the show. NXT’s Greg Hamilton then came out to emcee the show. Hamilton announced that NXT was taking over the night’s show, and then out came NXT Champion Kevin Owens.
Owens reportedly got a large reaction from the crowd in attendance, and it was also reported that a good chunk of the Tampa crowd were wearing Kevin Owens merchandise. Owens’ opponent, Adrian Neville, has wrestled on a main roster WWE show before, but this was a first for Owens. Neville debuted on a main roster WWE show at WrestleMania Axxess in New Jersey back in April of 2013, though admittedly that type of a show is a bit different from your typical television taping or house show. Neville made his traditional WWE main roster house show debut on January 31, 2014, in a match against Bo Dallas at the America Airlines Center in Miami, Florida.
As far as Kevin Owens and his debut with the main roster goes, WWE decided to put Owens over in his first match on the main roster, as he defeated Adrian Neville in the show opening match Saturday evening in Tampa.
It was a busy weekend for Owens and Neville, as they wrestled each other in the main event at Friday night’s (February 13) NXT house show at the Fenn Center in Fort Pierce, Florida. Owens won that match with a powerbomb in what was reported to be a “PPV quality match.” Though Owens is obviously a heel, and has been for almost his entire run in NXT (which began in December at NXT Takeover: R-evolution), the NXT house show report indicated that he received a large positive reaction from the crowd. This was also reportedly the case at Saturday night’s WWE show in Tampa when Owens made his main roster debut.
One now has to wonder how long it will be until Kevin Owens receives the permanent call up to the main roster. He appears to be on a fast track to getting there, though NXT also appears to be setting up a long lasting feud between he and Sami Zayn in NXT. Triple H will likely be one of the most important voices when it comes to determining a Kevin Owens call-up, and reports are that Owens and Triple H have developed a very close relationship.
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