During his appearance on “After The Bell”, Kevin Owens discussed how his return to NXT came about and how it felt to appear at Wargames. Here are the highlights:
On How He Felt About His Time In NXT:
It’s actually really hard to put into words and I’ve kind of been trying. Right after the show, they got me, Dijakovic, Keith Lee, and Tomasso to do a ‘.com’, little post-match thing. I had too much to say and I knew I couldn’t say it all because I couldn’t put my thoughts into words how great it felt to be out there in that environment. So, I kind of just said, ‘NXT, don’t ever change.’ And that’s really what I mean – I loved my time there and I had a really limited amount of time there. I was only on NXT television, as part of the NXT shows, I was only there about six months and then if you count the moment I got signed at the performance center until the time I got called up, that was ten months.
So, it was a very short amount of time. But while I was there, I really loved my time there. And I only got to do one TakeOver in a big arena like that. It was the first one in Brooklyn. So, to be able to do another one and experience it, and get the feel for it – obviously, Chicago was very kind to me. But even without that, being in the ring with those guys and a lot of them I have known for so long but I hadn’t wrestled in a while. It was just – man, I’m trying to find the words because just saying, ‘It was great!’ is really understating it.
On How His Return Came To Be:
It’s been a constant throughout the last few years that any time I hear anybody at NXT getting injured or for some reason not being able to make a show, whether it’s a storyline or not, I always send Triple H a text like, ‘Hey, if you need somebody, I’m here. Hahahahaha.’ We always have that little insider joke, and so the same thing happened when I heard that Gargano was off of TakeOver. “I immediately texted him saying, ‘I hear Johnny’s out. I’m available.’ And then this time the answer was, ‘Well actually, that’s a possibility. I’m looking into it.’ I was like, ‘Oh s–t, alright.’ And then he called me in the middle of my European tour a couple of weeks ago and let me know that it was going to happen.
On Being Surprised His Return Wasn’t Leaked:
I guess I was sitting on it for a week and a half; we didn’t tell anybody. I’m astonished it didn’t get out because especially that day, we didn’t take any precautions to try to keep it secret. I was just walking around with the guys and I was just there, like, I was just another NXT guy. So that fact that it didn’t somehow leak that I was going to be in the match was a nice surprise because I don’t know what it is about our industry and where we work that makes everybody want to tell everybody everything.
On Feeling Like Wargames Was His Wrestlemania Moment This Year:
When I walked on the stage, it brought me back to my first NXT show, Takeover against CJ Parker. And I remember doing my entrance, and walking out on stage, and kind of looking at Full Sail Arena, which is obviously a fraction of the size of All State [Arena]. But it had the same feel, the same excitement, I felt the same goosebumps and the same thrill. And I forget who I was telling this to but I didn’t get to do WrestleMania this year… Takeover really felt like WrestleMania. That day and even the week leading up to it, I was so excited. And then getting to do it and when I was in the ring – I guess that’s the best way to put it. For me, this was my WrestleMania this year. That’s how big it was.
You can listen to the podcast below: