Much of the focus from the bombshell Feb. 26 edition of SmackDown has been on the man who lost (for now) his WWE championship opportunity at Fastlane, Kofi Kingston. The veteran’s quiet resignation in response to Vince McMahon replacing him as Daniel Bryan’s opponent at the Mar. 10 pay-per-view (PPV) was excellent – and his performance just another reason he deserves the WrestleMania title shot he’s likely getting later on in his story.
But what of the man replacing him, Kevin Owens? For weeks now, we’ve been seeing KO the family man. Bowling with the kids, picking up pizza for dinner… with toppings he can’t stand because the folks at home love them! A lot of long-time fans were excited to see him play a true babyface for the first time in his WWE career. Then there Owens was, being introduced by a man he’d headbutted a couple years back, crushing The New Day and everyone else’s dreams of Kofi winning the title in Cleveland next month.
So much for Kev’s face run, huh? NOT SO FAST!
He respects Kingston, and agrees with everyone Kofi’s overdue for a big chance like this. But he also can’t even speak about his wife & kids without getting choked up, and they’re the reason when Mr. McMahon CAME TO HIM with this offer, Owens had to accept.
It’s not a new character. The guy who will do bad things if it means good things for his family was pretty much his NXT gimmick, and one he kept for the early part of his time on the main roster. But this feels more earnest.
With KO, of course, you’re just waiting for the hammer to drop. And maybe it will at or after Fastlane. One potential issue with the new match Vince’s made is that it appears on the surface to be heel vs. heel. But Owens didn’t work rudo in last night’s main event, and this “good dad” routine could carry him through either to more openly playing a heel after Mar. 10 or just be used for this part of the angle, to explain why a babyface would crush the dreams of a man he respects and the fans who adore that man.
It also provides an interesting difference between this one story and the parallel one WWE’s doing with McMahon and the Raw Women’s title. There, they needed a heel for two different babyfaces to play off of. Love or hate that it probably won’t be a singles match in MetLife Stadium on April 7, but there’s no denying Charlotte Flair is doing a great job filling the villain position.
Not only is she bragging about following orders, and proving she has no qualms with taking something she hasn’t earned – not once does Charlotte mention her own father! You know, Ric Flair, the man whose name makes her “The Queen”, and also the guy Batista beat up and dragged around at his own 70th birthday celebration.
Like everything in this angle with Mr. McMahon, it could just be a coincidence. WWE creative might just be doing whatever they need to to get these programs where they want/need them to be. Or it could be a sign Vince is desperate to maintain control over his company, or his “losing his touch” (for one reason or another) is about to become part of the latest battle for control of the company angle.
But it does prevent the two stories from being identical, and gives the WWE title scene some intrigue the Raw Women’s championship picture doesn’t have.
Charlotte’s a bad daughter, and a heel. KO is a good family man, but is he also a babyface?