Thanks to a babyface turn that was solidified on Tuesday night’s episode of SmackDown Live as he cut a fiery promo against Shane McMahon, Kevin Owens is arguably enjoying a career renaissance as one of the blue brand’s most relevant performers at the moment. It’s still unclear whether this could lead to another main-event championship opportunity for the Canadian wrestler, but in a recent interview, Owens recalled his six-month run as WWE’s second-ever Universal Champion and how he supposedly didn’t enjoy the experience.
On the latest episode of former WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory podcast, Owens opened up about his time on Monday Night Raw as the brand’s top titleholder, which started one week after inaugural Universal Champion Finn Balor relinquished his title on the August 22, 2016, edition of Raw.
As quoted by Fightful, Owens looked back on how his wife would point out that she had “never seen [him] more stressed” despite the fact he was on top of the red brand’s card.
“I look back and think, ‘I would have done things different as Universal Champion if it were up to me,'” Owens continued. “But ultimately, I was still the Universal Champion. But I honestly don’t remember enjoying it, which sucks.”
Kevin Owens' promo on SmackDown last night was one of the best things on WWE TV in ages: https://t.co/iMeqpR87YN
— WrestleTalk (@WrestleTalk_TV) July 10, 2019
All in all, Kevin Owens held the Universal title for a total of 188 days before dropping it at WWE’s Fastlane pay-per-view on March 5, 2017, against future WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg, as recalled by Cultaholic. Since then, he has mostly been utilized in an upper mid-card role and has also seen his momentum recently derailed by injuries.
But with Owens healthy again and getting regular screen time on SmackDown Live, he told Garcia that he’s still “not where [he wants] to be” as far as his push is concerned.
“I want to be doing more and contributing more. I just think I could be…I don’t want to say a bigger part of the show because I’m already a big part of the show. I just want more.”
As of this writing, Owens still does not have a match scheduled for WWE’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view, which will be taking place on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia. But as Comic Book noted, the 35-year-old wrestler’s “worked-shoot” promo on this week’s SmackDown Live made a significant impact.
The outlet opined that points Owens touched on reflected “everything that wrestling fans have vocally been complaining about for months,” including Shane McMahon’s perceived overexposure as an onscreen character.