After weeks of being booked as one of SmackDown Live’s top babyfaces, Kevin Owens was conspicuously absent on this week’s episode, which consequently prevented his feud with Shane McMahon and Elias from moving forward. However, as Owens recently admitted, there was a good and very valid reason why he was not present on the blue brand’s programming this week.
On Tuesday night, Owens responded to a fan’s inquiry on Twitter, where they asked WWE why the former Universal Champion didn’t appear on that night’s edition of SmackDown Live. In the first part of his response, Owens jokingly referred to his feud with McMahon, saying that he figured that McMahon wouldn’t be present on SmackDown if he decided not to appear on the show. He added that this plan “worked,” given that McMahon was also absent on Tuesday night.
Owens then became serious in the second part, where he explained that concerns over Hurricane Dorian forced him to stay home with his family and, at first, postpone flying to Norfolk, Virginia, where SmackDown Live was being aired on Tuesday. He added that he had “no luck” finding a flight to Norfolk after he had made sure that his family would be safe from the hurricane.
As of this writing, Dorian is expected to bring about “hurricane conditions” along the coasts of North and South Carolina on Thursday, just one day after the weather disturbance battered Florida with heavy rains and strong winds, CBS News wrote.
This is why Kevin Owens wasn't on Smackdown Live last night:https://t.co/62NLC04unu
— WrestleTalk (@WrestleTalk_TV) September 4, 2019
Due to the looming threat that Dorian posed at the time, WWE rescheduled two of its NXT live events in Florida toward the end of August, moving its Jacksonville event to September 20 and its Fort Pierce show to September 28.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear how WWE will proceed with Kevin Owens’ rivalry against Shane McMahon in the coming weeks. On August 11, Owens picked up the win over McMahon at SummerSlam, thereby ensuring that he wouldn’t have to quit WWE for losing his match against company chairman Vince McMahon’s son. However, some have suggested that “KO” may need to move on to another feud now that he’s defeated McMahon at one of WWE’s “big four” pay-per-views, and specifically start challenging for the WWE Championship currently held by Kofi Kingston.
“You could almost see (if not at least hear) the air being sucked out the crowd when Shane interrupted Owens last week on SmackDown,” Bleacher Report’s Graham Matthews observed in an article published on August 20. “Fans were hopeful that Owens was ready to move on to bigger and better things on the blue brand since there wasn’t anything more for him to accomplish against Shane.”