Kevin Owens on William Regal Getting Him Into WWE, His Attitude Towards Having to Try-Out, Triple H, NXT & More on “Talk is Jericho”

kevin owensNXT Champion Kevin Owens, who will be stepping into the ring with John Cena at this weekend’s Elimination Chamber live special, sat down with wrestling legend Chris Jericho on the latest edition of Talk is JerichoBelow are just a few highlights from the phenomenal interview with the latest WWE Superstar, and former Ring of Honor world champion. 

On when he was actually hired… 

“I was told on May 12th of last year that I was officially being hired. Then I had to go through the physical and that entire process. And then I signed the contract and moved to Florida on August 10th. I moved here from Montreal, and that whole process was crazy. I came here for a week in July, because I knew I was going to get hired, I came to see an NXT TV taping.” 

William Regal, who has since become the on-screen NXT general manager, was backstage at a PWG show in Reseda, California back in 2013. The wrestling legend was there scouting talent, and as we noted back then, he specifically took note of Owens’ match with Johnny Gargano. 

“I had always wanted to be here, but I never had any contact with [WWE]. My first match was on my 16th birthday in 2000, but I never had any contact at all with WWE until I saw William Regal at a PWG show out in California” … “I knew a week before that Regal was coming to scout. So in my head I was like, ‘this is probably the one chance I’m going to have to make it there.’ They had already signed Sami Zayn, and I felt like things were kinda changing; maybe the outlook on who to sign.”

Owens praised Regal for advice given to him backstage, and being open to what they were doing on the independent scene, in terms of the way they work compared to some of the bigger, national organizations. On the other hand, he told a story about Al Snow visiting a Ring of Honor show and trashing the product. 

“Al Snow came to a show. At that point he worked for TNA. And he watched the whole show, but he was in the crowd, and afterwards I heard that, among the fans that had paid their ticket to see the show, he put down every single match. They could hear him saying ‘they’re not doing this right, why are they doing this, this makes no sense, this and that…’ But every match had the crowd rocking. It was a Ring of Honor show, and every fan left satisfied.” 

Jericho asked Owens what his reaction was to being asked to come in for a try-out with WWE, despite being a major name on the independent scene. As Y2J put it – “you’re Kevin Steen!” 

“I had no problem with it. Even though I’d shown enough to William Regal, that he would be willing to try to get me in for a try-out, I’m still not that typical guy. I do have something to prove. I was more than happy to do that.” 

Owens praised WWE for working with him while in Ring of Honor to set up a try-out camp for him and a few other ROH talents, and equally praised ROH for telling him he could go to WWE and try-out despite having dates that he was scheduled for on conflicting days. Ultimately, the two sides came together to do what was right for him as a performer. 

Please check out the complete interview between Jericho and Owens, as the two Canadians talk Canadian history, Shawn Michaels, Steve Corino, Kevin meeting Steve Austin when he was younger and the advice he was given, their respective careers and a ton more.