Ever since his professional wrestling debut in 2000, Kevin Owens has made waves in every single promotion he has graced with his presence. However, nobody has made more of a statement upon their debut within World Wrestling Entertainment than the former WWE Universal Champion. On this day, June 14, 2015, Kevin Owens would face off in a show-stealing match against WWE icon, John Cena. Let’s run down how this match would take place On This Day.
Kevin Owens Captures The NXT Championship
At NXT TakeOver: R Evolution, Kevin Owens would make his WWE debut on the NXT developmental brand. At this event, Owens would defeat CJ Parker in quick fashion. Later that night, Owens’s former friend on the independent circuit, Sami Zayn, would defeat Adrian Neville to become the new NXT Champion. Owens would join the NXT locker room in celebrating Zayn’s achievement. However, this would soon be Zayn’s downfall. Literally.
In the midst of his post-match celebration, Zayn would be attacked by Owens, who would powerbomb him on the apron in a brutal fashion. This would lead to an eventual match between Owens and Zayn with the NXT Championship on the line, where Owens would win the title at NXT TakeOver: Rival. After his title victory, Owens would continue feuding with Sami Zayn and would begin feuds with Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. However, in the midst of these battles, Kevin Owens would make his debut on WWE’s main roster.
An Open Challenge Answered
On May 18, 2015, Kevin Owens would make his appearance on WWE Monday Night Raw, answering one of John Cena’s WWE United States Championship Open Challenge. However, Owens would not be competing in a match. Instead, Owens would attack Cena, stomping on his title and raising the NXT Championship in dominance. This would lead to a non-title match between John Cena and Kevin Owens at Elimination Chamber. Surprisingly, Owens would win this match cleanly via pinfall. This would lead to a rematch between Kevin Owens and John Cena at Money In The Bank that year. Thus, we find ourselves at June 14, 2015.
John Cena vs. Kevin Owens
If you weren’t completely sold on Kevin Owens with his Raw debut or his match against Cena at Elimination Chamber, this match sold you on Owens instantly. Owens would start off by making his entrance, looking incredibly focused on his upcoming match. The NXT Champion was on a mission to prove that his victory over the WWE United States Champion was not a fluke.
Owens and Cena started off by exchanging headlocks and Irish whips. Neither man was capable of getting the better of the other at the beginning of this one. Later on, the action would pick up and the crowd would only get hotter and hotter. As Owens began picking up more momentum, he began to diversify his arsenal mid-match. Instead of attempting some of his trademark maneuvers, Owens would utilize the trademark maneuvers of his opponent, dropping Cena with his own variation of the Five Knuckle Shuffle. While Owens would attempt an Attitude Adjustment, Cena would slip out of it and land an inverted suplex on the NXT Champion.
Cena and Owens would go move-for-move, near-fall after near-fall for nearly 20 minutes. However, in the end, John Cena would pin the NXT Champion following an Attitude Adjustment for a victory in 19:15.
This match was absolutely incredible. Such a good showing for Owens’ second match on the main roster. Ownes managed to earn the respect of Cena and the WWE universe. Even more so, John Cena also earned the respect of the fans after putting on a great in-ring contest. This was a win for everyone.
Match Result: John Cena defeated Kevin Owens via Pinfall in 19:15.
Walker’s Star Ratings: 4.75 Star Match
Big Match Fallout
While Owens may not have won the contest, he most definitely gained the respect of The Leader of The Cenation. Post-match, Cena would extend his hand in a show of respect to Owens. Owens would shake Cena’s hand, then dropping him with a kick to the gut. The NXT Champion would make a statement afterward when he powerbombed Cena on the apron. What a great contest! This match was rated 4.5 stars by Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
After this match, Owens would go on to hold a multitude of championships in WWE and currently competes on WWE’s SmackDown brand. This is what happened On This Day in professional wrestling.
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