Kevin Owens likes to boast that whatever WWE program he appears on should be referred to as "The Kevin Owens Show." It's a great line for an obnoxious heel such as Owens, but the Sept. 12 episode of "SmackDown Live" truly was "The Kevin Owens Show" in my opinion.
Owens demonstrated his strong mic skills throughout the broadcast, but it was his shocking, show-closing
confrontation with Vince McMahon
, who was making his first appearance on "SmackDown" in more than four years, that will be talked about for years to come and could prove to be the "Austin 3:16 moment" of Owens' career.
After the WWE Chairman and CEO laid a verbal smackdown on Owens, Owens responded with a physical smackdown on the 72-year-old McMahon. When Owens suddenly head-butted McMahon -- which drew blood from McMahon's forehead -- the crowd gasped. Owens then continued to assault McMahon with punches and kicks before delivering a big splash off the top rope onto him.
Simply sharing a ring with the larger-than-life McMahon is a huge "rub" for a WWE performer, but bloodying and battering him is a privilege reserved only for major stars and those who are on their way to becoming a major star.
Owens has been at or near the top of the card in WWE since his main roster debut in 2015, but make no mistake: for Owen's' career, this angle with McMahon -- which was done to set up a Hell in a Cell Match between Owens and Vince's son, Shane McMahon, at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view Oct. 8 -- is even bigger than working pay-per-view programs with the likes of John Cena and Roman Reigns or winning the Universal Title.
Owens certainly is deserving of such a lofty position. When you combine his in-ring and promo abilities, a strong case can be made that he's the best all-around performer in the business today.
Last year, I wrote that
WWE should turn Owens babyface
and give him an opportunity to be the top guy in the company. I still think that should happen at some point, but after the angle with Vince McMahon, it's obviously not happening anytime soon.
There's certainly no denying Owens is an outstanding heel. In an era in which it's cool for wrestling fans to cheer the bad guys, it's increasingly difficult for heels to generate heat, but Owens is the proverbial heat magnet. His merciless beatdown of Vince McMahon was one of the most heated segments on WWE television in some time.
When the program between Owens and Shane McMahon began, I was skeptical that it would be beneficial for Owens, but that was before Owens kicked Shane's iconic septuagenarian father's ass. The Owens-McMahons feud has made for compelling television the past two weeks, beginning with Shane McMahon physically attacking Owens after Owens made derogatory remarks about Shane's kids
I have no doubt the Hell in a Cell Match between Owens and Shane will be a spectacle. I just hope the powers that be in WWE realize the only result that makes sense is Owens winning. The match should be all about "making" Owens, not giving Shane O'Mac his first pay-per-view singles victory since he returned to WWE in early 2016.
My guess is Owens will prevail in the Hell in a Cell Match, thus setting up a big match for him at WrestleMania 34 in April. After beating up Vince McMahon and defeating Shane McMahon, the logical opponent for Owens at WrestleMania is Vince's son-in-law, Triple H.
If WWE does indeed go that route, expect Owens to also do something nefarious to Stephanie McMahon, who returned to WWE television at the end of "SmackDown Live" Sept. 12 to check on her fallen father and chastise Owens.
There's already storyline history between Owens and Triple H. It was Triple H who helped Owens win the Universal Title a year ago, and this past February, Triple H was shown speaking to Owens backstage prior to Owens turning on Chris Jericho (we never did find out what Triple H said to him).
WrestleMania is nearly seven months away, however. For now, let's all just sit back and enjoy "The Kevin Owens Show."