The July 2 edition of WWE SmackDown was a strong night for Kevin Owens, a superstar who has been a top heel for most of his run in the WWE, but could be ready for a much-needed babyface run.
Last night’s WWE SmackDown saw Kevin Owens at the top of his game to start the show and to end the show on a night that could be a character-defining night for Owens after what appeared to be the creative team flirting with a babyface turn for the long-time heel KO.
The night got started with the Kevin Owens Show with special guests Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre. The duo addressed what went down the night before when The Undertaker gave both men a stern warning for what’s to come at Extreme Rules when Taker teams up with Roman Reigns to battle Shane O’Mac and McIntyre.
This started out standard, but Owens would decide to take a different approach.
Shane and McIntyre said they weren’t afraid of The Undertaker and they will take care of him at Extreme Rules, but then Owens decided to show footage from the night before when they left the ring and stood in the crowd to get away from The Deadman as he made his way into the ring. Of course, Owens was insinuating that the two were scared of The Undertaker, which led to some tense moments before Dolph Ziggler interrupted the proceedings.
Owens didn’t let Ziggler off the hook either and as soon as he tried to give his usual nagging promo, KO passionately cut him off by saying nobody wants to hear Ziggler whine around and say it should have been him instead of Kofi Kingston as WWE Champion. This all eventually led to an impromptu and unexpected pairing of Owens and Ziggler against Heavy Machinery in the main event with high stakes.
If Owens and Ziggler would get the win, they would be added to the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match at Extreme Rules. Even though they were at each other’s throats earlier in the night, they did manage to put forth a united front in this match. However, that wouldn’t last and after some late miscommunication, Heavy Machinery got the win and advanced to Extreme Rules where it will have a shot at capturing tag team gold.
Ziggler got in KO’s face after the match, but KO would get the last laugh when he hit Ziggler with a stunner and emphatically stated this was his show. This was a big night for Owens and with how the promo earlier in the night went, that really showed the potential he could have as a babyface. For nearly all of his main roster run over the past few years, he has been a great heel that ranks among the best in the company.
However, since his return from injury, he has shown more promise as a babyface than as a heel. Even when he was only pretending to be an honorary member of The New Day, he was still very entertaining and convincing. His return and eventual clash with Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at Fastlane was solid as well, but once he turned heel after playing The New Day, he really hasn’t done much.
Owens’ feud with Kingston was pretty good, but it really never felt like as big a deal as it could’ve been. And ever since he lost to Kingston, he has been floating around with no true creative direction. The WWE needs to give Owens a makeover, so to speak, as an edgy babyface that will say whatever he wants. This year has shown the promise KO has as a babyface and it’s time to see how far he can go outside of the realm of being a heel.
This could lead to a career resurgence that could see him return to being a world champion sometime down the line. It’s not like he would be this baby-kissing, cornball good guy either. He would still be KO, but instead of feuding with babyfaces, he would be feuding with heels. Hopefully, new SmackDown executive producer Eric Bischoff will get to work with Owens under the babyface platform.
The blue brand could end up being Owens’ show after all, but the best way to get to that point appears to be a much-needed babyface run that he has yet to truly have in his WWE career.