It’s been a while since we did one of these, hasn’t it? So, I’m going to tackle things a little differently – for the Kevin Owens documentary, I’m going to give you my thoughts as I watch through it live!
To say that I was really looking forward to “Fight Owens Fight: The Kevin Owens Story” might be a little bit of an overstatement. Like others I’ve heard, I was one of those wondering; do we really need a Kevin Owens DVD? I mean, he’s been in WWE for less than three years, isn’t it way too early?
Anyhow, despite my thoughts, WWE has produced it regardless!
Okay, the disc is in and it’s starting to play. All the usual stuff, menus, “Don’t Try This at Home” (that one always gets ya pumped – probably because you know you’re just seconds away from the doc).
The menus look simple but nice; like most WWE Home Video releases it’s the standard setup here with clips of Kevin Owens with his entrance theme playing over. Okay, I’ve got a drink (Pepsi Max over ice), a little snack (a Kinder Bueno) and I’m ready. It’s 20:26:25, let’s begin. “PLAY”.
Nice little segment to open the documentary proper with Kevin asking his young daughter to go upstairs while he is recording (she has a cough and certainly isn’t too happy to be banished upstairs! Ha). We also have a monologue from Kevin discussing his journey to WWE with some critical comments from other superstars (who I presume are interviewed in the rest of the set) – you know the comments: “doesn’t look like a WWE superstar”, “never imagined he’d ever be signed by WWE”.
We’re into the main feature properly now with some outdoor shots of Kevin’s hometown of Marieville, Quebec. The first real comments come from Kevin and his dad discussing his first wrestling experience which was when his dad hired a VHS copy of WrestleMania XI and it was that and Shawn Michaels performance which kick-started Kevin’s obsession with pro-rasslin’.
We have Kevin’s friend Neil discussing his early life, we’ve also got more from with Kevin’s dad, Sami Zayn and Steve Corino all discussing KO’s training, early matches and his repertoire (which he admits was basically stealing RVD’s entire move set). This is joined by early match footage of Kevin. It’s always really cool that WWE gets some of this footage as it adds so much. I recall on those older DVDs this part of a documentary was always a bit odd as it was only a couple of still photos and that was it, but now we’re at a stage where we see what the folks are actually talking about.
Sami and Kevin talk about how fellow Québécois Sexxxy Eddy went stateside to CZW’s infamous Tournament of Death and how competing in the tournament and a sick move involving a cut on his arm opened the doors for CZW to bring in: Kevin, Sami (El Generico) Zayn and Excess 69 to join Eddie for a four-way match which opened the doors for them to wrestle worldwide. We have some footage here of the four-way direct from CZW.
More pre-WWE footage now from ROH and CZW, plus discussion of feuds and comments from: AJ Styles, Johnny Gargano and Adrian Neville.
Interesting topic here as Kevin discusses learning to speak English from wrestling – primarily JR’s commentary. Friend, Neil (was also trained with Kevin) comments that early on, KO would use lots of phrases like “GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY!”. Little bit of talk next about Kevin’s history of trash talking now as well, with a nice little story about meeting Stone Cold Steve Austin in an airport and Austin advising him to keep running his mouth as much as possible.
Random thought, why is it that all of the ROH footage has the “courtesy of” text on it, but the CZW stuff doesn’t? CZW, you probably want to ask for that too!
Jimmy Jacobs (Chris Scobille, WWE producer) and Seth Rollins discuss Kevin and Sami Zayn in ROH and how they were the second most over act in the promotion (behind Daniel Bryan). Obviously, were using this to segue into their split and how that all came about.
Final Battle 2009 – Kevin talks about how he and Zayn planned out the next year of storylines and how their feud would shake out. It’s really cool to see some real in-depth discussion of a non-WWE feud. I think this might be the first time since the CM Punk set where we actually see progression through ROH’s storylines. At most it’d normally be some random clips. Here we’re getting actual show footage with the event name highlighted. Obviously we’ve got lots of comments from Sami Zayn in this segment.
ACCUSATION! Here we’re hearing about how Sami felt (for whatever reason) Jim Cornette (then ROH bigwig) was trying to squeeze Kevin (Steen) Owens from the ROH roster by adding the “Loser Leaves Town” stipulation to their final encounter at Final Battle. Kevin talks about this being quite a dark time for him and he really felt that it derailed his career – while it did offer him the opportunity to spend some time at home with his wife and kids, he apparently did contemplate quitting the business during this period. This is getting pretty deep! It might have been nice to get some comments from Jim Cornette from WrestleMania weekend to add his view and let us know from ROH’s perspective why they went in this direction.
Kevin is talking now about going to PWG and reinventing himself before returning to Ring of Honor at the Hammerstein Ballroom to become the hottest act in the company – an act that Steve Cornino refers to as ROH’s version of Stone Cold Steve Austin (high praise indeed!) and this run wound up with him winning the ROH Title at Border Wars 2012.
Around the time of winning the ROH title, Kevin discusses Sami Zayn getting a WWE tryout and recounts a story of how Sami signed his WWE contact right in front of Kevin. Next we get tidbits and little comments from Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn and Neville discussing how they never thought that Kevin would make it in WWE, nor even make it TO WWE simply down to the way he looked.
Enter Triple H and William Regal – both talk about how they were in the process of finding the very best talent from the entire wrestling world – not just the archetypal “WWE Superstars” but the best talent out there. Next we get comments from Kevin and Johnny Gargano discussing their match at the 2013 PWG Battle of Los Angeles, as William Regal was attending that event to scout out everyone and this was the match which got Kevin a tryout at the Performance Center. As an added little treat, we are actually given some clips of the PWG match versus Gargano.
Next up Kevin discusses his tryout and of course, as WWE records EVERYTHING, we’re treated to actual footage of this too! We also get a near-full promo from that tryout which Kevin cut on Sami all about how Sami signed a WWE deal in front of him and despite them being so tied together since the beginning of their careers, Kevin was being left behind. This segment was really, really cool.
Kevin is talking about finally getting his WWE deal, which was good, but also discusses how he was told that it was “only a shot in NXT” and that he shouldn’t get his hopes up for ever being called up to RAW or SmackDown as Vince McMahon “wasn’t likely to be a fan of Kevin Owens” – simply down to his look. — It would have been nice to get some comments from Vince here about this, however we roll on without him.
It’s NXT TakeOver: R-Evolution time now and Kevin is discussing what is going through his mind while watching the open of the show, to the point where his entrance music hit and he walked through the curtain. Of course, this was also the night where Sami finally won the NXT Title from Neville before Kevin turned on him and kick started their feud.
KO takes the NXT Title. We have lots of backstage footage of Kevin with Dusty Rhodes and Triple H following the match with KO giving his thoughts on his run this far and how he went from sitting in the crowd at WrestleMania XXX (prior to even being signed) through to a year later when he is not only an NXT Superstar, but the CHAMPION of NXT this time attending WrestleMania XXXI and being involved in the festivities of the weekend.
Whow, we have some really cool footage here now with Hulk Hogan (yes, THAT guy!) talking to Kevin backstage over WM31 weekend about how great he thinks Owens is (and actually, the Hulkster is coming across quite genuine here), and the names keep coming as we also have The Rock talking to KO and saying what a “great dude” and wrestler he is. — This was really cool footage and a surprise to see in here.
Triple H is back on screen again now talking about Kevin’s incredible NXT run (the fastest in history?) and how it was both John Cena AND Vince McMahon (yeah, that bloke who everyone said wouldn’t like Owens) who wanted him up on the main roster.
Elimination Chamber 2015 day now and we’re backstage with Kevin arriving at the arena in his car discussing his main roster debut on RAW and his son’s reaction to watching him come out to confront Cena (along with the superb footage which spread all round social media at the time).
I have to pause at this moment to say we’ve got a really nice little documentary here. Of course, it has the great production values which we’ve all come to expect from these WWE features and Kevin is coming across like a really great guy and honestly, I’m really enjoying this one – much more than I expected just over half an hour ago.
Now we’re post-Elimination Chamber match with Cena and we’re following Kevin after his big win – always really cool to see a backstage peek – am I the only one who finds themselves watching the background to see what else you can catch going on? Ha. We’re also quickly going over the whole series of matches with Cena now; good to see we aren’t analyzing the win-loss record for the series (but that’s a rant for another day).
We move to Night of Champions with Owens winning the Intercontinental Championship and discussion of the belt’s meaning; it’s funny how it was always everyone’s dream to win the IC Title – it’s kinda sad how it’s been booked and the next generation will likely come along with no one wanting to win the same title!
WrestleMania 33. Sami, Jericho and KO are all stood on the entrance ramp discussing the smallest crowds they’ve ever wrestled in front of (this is actually the first Chris Jericho is on-screen in the documentary which is surprising). The discussion is all based on the fact that they know they’ll be wrestling in front of in excess of 100,000 fans in mere hours.
Footage of Kevin passing Stone Cold on the ramp on his way to the ring for the match is shown. Kevin discusses how he feels that he has come full circle now as it was Steve’s advice which he credits as getting him to WWE and now wrestling at WrestleMania.
Kevin and Sami discuss the WM match and how they never though that they would ever make it to WWE and WrestleMania, all set to a backdrop of match clips and music.
On to bigger and better things… Jimmy Jacobs discusses how Kevin’s goal orientation, work ethic and passion for what he is doing drive him forward even in defeat (in discussing the outcome of the WM32 Ladder Match)
“Kevin’s a bit of a pr*ck” (Neville), but apparently one that really loves his family. Seth also chimes in about how Kevin’s family is the most important thing to him. At this point it would be nice to hear from Kevin’s wife or maybe his kids about how they feel about dad being a wrestler, but it doesn’t look like we’re getting that.
Payback time. Both Kevin and Sami discuss their journey to a PPV singles match on a main WWE stage, Sami also talks about their Battleground re-match stating that he thinks it was their best match EVER.
Daniel Bryan pops up, commenting on how fantastic the Battleground match was. Good to see Bryan as I didn’t think we were going to see him on this doc.
Kevin comments that he feels that he lost his momentum from Battleground as by the next PPV he wound up in the opening tag match with Jericho taking on Enzo & Big Cass. Then of course, the next night things all changed. Now we have a different interview with Owens and it looks and sounds like he is talking about the match even before it actually happens; he alludes very strongly towards him winning the title.
Looks like we’re being given a cut up version of the four-way match now. It has clips from the match with some slow-mo action, key comments from the announcers all set to a background track. I really like when they do things like this for the really pivotal matches, it makes it seem really important and a big deal – a great way to include a match within a documentary.
Kevin wins the Universal Championship… switch to dramatic heavenly music!
Sami Zayn is talking about the big win now and says he had zero reaction to it until Kevin came through the curtain. When Sami sees him with the title, he completely loses it with emotion. Footage of Kevin being congratulated by everyone is shown including with Vince and Triple H. It’s not looking like we’re really getting into the actual way he won (was given) the title.
Kevin’s dad in tears discussing his son reaching his goal and achieving his dream is a really cool addition in this spot. We also now get footage of Kevin’s son discussing his dad becoming the champ, which is also cool. How can this not touch you?
We’re nearing the end with a great bit with Johnny Gargano discussing all of the initial questions now answered through the doc for the past hour: would Kevin ever make it to WWE? Would he make it to the main roster? Would he ever win the big one? Everyone is surprised how far he got and how fast he did it all. Terry Taylor says that Kevin has redefined what a WWE Superstar is.
Kevin states that this is his dream job, but that he does it all for his mom, his dad, his wife and of course his kids.
Well, that’s it. The doc is done and the menu is back on. That was a little more labor intensive than I thought; I’ve not even touched my drink or Bueno!
Side note, at the very end WWE credited all of the indy companies for the material used. It’s always cool when they seek that out, it adds a special touch to the DVD/Blu-ray when they go the extra mile and get external footage. It’s a shame that they’ve never worked anything out with TNA/Impact/GWF for recent sets like the Sting one, but now Anthem is involved maybe they could source a few clips for a (second) Kurt Angle set which we’re sure to be getting down the road.
On the whole, I really enjoyed this one folks. Perhaps that was because I had low expectations going in or more likely because it was so well put together! I like the fact that they stopped the documentary at Kevin winning the Universal Championship as he kind of went downhill from there with the seconds-long loss to Goldberg and a relegation down the card for WrestleMania 33. On that subject I was surprised that Jericho wasn’t even interviewed for the set, however I guess had it extended beyond August 2016 then he most definitely would have to be included.
I really hope that you guys and gals enjoy “Fight Owens Fight: The Kevin Owens Story” as much as I did. You don’t have wait a minute longer because it just officially hit stores in the UK, the USA and Canada. Once you’ve checked it out leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Enjoy “KO day” and stay tuned for a review of the bonus matches.
Grab a copy of WWE’s new “KEVIN OWENS – Fight Owens Fight” DVD…
– USA: NOW! Grab your “Fight Owens Fight” DVD or Blu-ray right now here on Amazon.com.
– UK/Europe: NOW! Grab your “Fight Owens Fight” DVD or Blu-ray right now on Amazon.co.uk.
– Australia: August 15th. Your opportunity to pre-order the KO DVD is live at Madman.com.au.