A new report has offered information on why Monday Night Raw superstar Kevin Owens has not appeared on the most recent episodes of the show, despite how he had just returned from a brief hiatus he took due to coronavirus concerns.
As cited by WrestlingNews.co on Friday, Dave Meltzer wrote on this week’s edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Owens had shown up for WWE’s July 20 tapings, which covered that day’s and the following week’s episodes of Raw. As explained, the former Universal Champion was originally written to appear on the aforementioned shows, but the company “decided not to use him” after certain changes were made.
According to Meltzer, the changes in question were centered on Aleister Black’s injury angles on the last two episodes of the red brand’s show. As Owens has been aligned with the Dutchman in recent months, he would have normally been expected to run in and save Black from getting beaten down by Seth Rollins and Murphy. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, it appears that Black was written off with said storyline injury because there are plans to repackage him and give him a gimmick change.
“They didn’t feel the need to sacrifice [Owens] in angles like that,” Meltzer noted.
Last month, Owens became the latest WWE performer to cite the coronavirus pandemic as a reason for sitting out the company’s tapings, later on explaining that officials were “respectful” of his choice and that there hasn’t been any pushback against those that had made similar decisions in the past. At that point, his wife’s grandfather had just died after a bout with COVID-19, which reportedly added to his concerns, as that occurred around the same time an unnamed superstar tested positive for the disease.
As reported previously by Ringside News, Owens’ hiatus ended on July 6, where he was involved in an in-ring segment with Rollins, thus allowing him to continue his feud with the “Monday Night Messiah.” His last match was aired on July 19, when he defeated Murphy during the pre-show for The Horror Show at Extreme Rules.
Regarding WWE’s future plans for Owens, rumors have suggested that one of the ideas for SummerSlam on August 23 would have “KO” teaming up with Dominik Mysterio and facing Rollins and Murphy in a tag team match, according to a separate report from Ringside News. The outlet noted that it’s also possible Owens and Rollins will have a rematch of their WrestleMania 36 bout at the upcoming pay-per-view.