Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens has reportedly recently gained weight and WWE officials backstage have mentioned that to WWE chairman Vince McMahon, according to Daily Wrestling News.
Owens, 31, was called up from NXT last year and took the main roster by storm, taking part in well-received matches wth the likes of John Cena, Ryback, and Dean Ambrose. But due to this non-traditional appearance, sporting a rotund physique and thick beard, there have been constant rumors of his look holding him back.
Daily Wrestling News’ report mentions that Owens is generally accepted by the audience (over) and that his work as a heel (bad guy) has garnered praise backstage, too. The report adds that there is always a concern with WWE talent maintaining the look that McMahon prefers for his superstars.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Owens’ appearance has been subject to ridicule. Several months ago on the August 10, 2015, edition of WWE Monday Night RAW, the oft-injured Randy Orton made a remark to Owens about his look, asking him if he had put on some weight. Owens simply responded by saying “no” and that was the end of it.
The next day there was a report from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Wrestlezone) that Orton’s remark toward Owens was done with a purpose. Some people backstage were reportedly still not sold on Owens as a successful performer for the WWE and were allegedly trying to set him up in situations to fail.
“This comment was reported to be deliberate, as there are still apparent issues with Owens’ look with some WWE officials. It’s being said that some people in WWE are still against Owens and think he will fail, and may even want Owens to fail to prove themselves correct in their assumptions.”
It was also mentioned that there were “two groups” of people backstage, people are for Owens and people who are against Owens. At the time, it was said that it was too early to see which group was right in regards to Owens having success in WWE.
Prior to Owens’ call up the WWE main roster, the former Ring of Honor standout had dominated WWE’s NXT brand, running roughshod through the roster en route to capturing the NXT World Heavyweight championship. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Triple H reportedly told Owens that he’ll have the chance to dominate NXT, but he’s not sure how Vince McMahon would react to him.
Justin LaBar of Chairshot Reality revealed a quote from Triple H towards Owens when he initially signed.
“Kevin, I like you, we’re gonna let you run loose here in NXT. But when Vince sees you, I don’t know what he’s going to think. He might want you to lose some weight, he might want to change your look, your style.”
Owens still has the support of Triple H, per the report from Daily Wrestling News. The former 13-time WWE Champion played a pivotal role in signing Owens to the WWE and is said to be one of his biggest supporters. Triple H has not been notified of any comments from WWE officials about Owens’ weight, per the report.
Unless Owens drastically changes his look, rumors about his appearance will likely continue to persist. But as long as he has the support of Triple H and the WWE Universe, it will likely not hinder him to the point of no return.
[Featured Image by JP Yim/Getty Images]