Kevin Owens Asked Steve Austin for Permission to Use the Stunner

Posted By James Walsh on 12/02/19

Ė On the latest After the Bell, Kevin Owens discussed how he asked Steve Austin for permission to be able to use the Stunner as a finisher. Owens has been regularly using the Stunner as of late, but he first busted it out in WWE in 2017 at the Royal Rumble when he faced Roman Reigns in a WWE Universal Championship defense. Owens talked about how he made sure to ask Austin for his blessing, why it took so long for him to regularly use it and wanting to eventually add his own twist on it.

You can see highlights and the video below:

On if he had a conversation with Austin about using the Stunner: ďOh, yeah yeah. I had a conversation with him years ago, actually. I want to say it was in 2016. This is the thing, people were doing the Stunner Ė you know, youíd have the odd guy do the Stunner in a random match as kind of just something they were doing and that was it. Like, nobody was using it as a trademark but I had seen guys use a Stunner here and there, but not to the extent that I felt it should be used. And then, everybody at the time, and I guess itís still probably true. But I remember sitting there watching the shows and thinking, everyone does powerbombs in some way, shape or form. And you know, my finishing move was the Pop-Up Powerbomb obviously, but I was getting annoyed. Not at everybody doing a powerbomb, but at the fact that every match had something that looked like a powerbomb. So I started thinking, maybe I need something else. At the time, I was a heel or antagonist or however you want to put it Ö I remember thinking, if I were to start doing the Stunner, some people might love it and some people might really hate it, but nobody would be indifferent to it.Ē

On the importance of inspiring people to care about whatís going on in the ring: ďItís something that in what we do, is so valuable, is making sure that people arenít indifferent. And like, Iíve never really worried about getting really cheered or really booed, I just want people to make a lot of noise. Because I think thatís the best. I remember being in the ring with John Cena, or getting ready for a match with Cena and I would come out first, right? And my music would stop, and then thereís a couple seconds of dead air just to let the anticipation build. Then his music would hit, and you were just hit with two very distinct noises. Youíve got the fans that hate him and are booing him, and youíve got the people that love him that are cheering him like crazy. And itís just a crazy noise but itís so intense, and itís so great, the energy. Because then you get the people that hate him are trying to out-do the people that cheer him, and youíve got the people that are cheering him trying to be louder than the guys that are booing him, and it just becomes this great, crazy atmosphere. And you know, Roman [Reigns] for a long time had the same kind of vibe going.

ďSo Iíve always strived for that kind of reaction. Of course, if a reaction is overwhelmingly positive, thatís great, or if you get a lot of heat thatís great too. But I think being in the middle isnít a bad thing. I actually think itís really great. Very few people I think will get to the point where theyíre as admired as they are, you know, despised Ö Polarizing Ė that is what I strive for. Polarizing is a very special thing to be in our industry, I think. And the people that can claim to be legitimately polarizing are the ones who are made for life. Because nobody will ever not care one way or another, and thatís great. The stunner, in my head, was something that could be a great way for me to try to get there.Ē

On approaching Austin about the Stunner: ďSo I went to Steve and I asked him if I could use it. And he was very happy that I asked him, you know, me giving him the respect of it. But more than anything, he was happy that someone asked him because heís like, ĎYou want to use it as a finisher.í Iím like, ĎYesí. Heís like, ĎGod, itís about time. I canít believe nobodyís tried this yet. I canít believe no one had come to me and said, ĎHey, Iíd like to use the Stunner as a finisher. Itís a great finish, like, why not ó why?í And he was saying, ĎSome people use it and it means nothing.Ē

On people in WWE stopping him from using the Stunner: ďSo I said, ĎOkay, thatís great.Ē But then I tried to go through other channels and was shut down, so I wasnít able to start using it at that point. Even though I kind of snuck it in one of my matches with Roman [Reigns], which ended up leading to a funny exchange between me and Steve on his podcast later on where he tried how to do the Stunner properly because I couldnít beat Roman with it that night. But anyway, Iíve had Steveís blessing to use it for a long time and I was just waiting for the right time. And you know, this year felt like that was it. So thatís what Iíve been going with. And some people love it, some people really hate it. But again, Iím fine with that. I love doing it.Ē

On wanting to add his own twist to it eventually: ďMore and more now too, I ó eventually Iíd like to start doing it in ways that kind of my own. But for now, Iím doing boot, Stunner just like Steve used to do, because Iím still trying to do right by it. I donít want it to become ĎMy Stunner.í I donít call it the Stone Cold Stunner because I would never be arrogant enough to compare myself to Stone Cold. Itís the Stunner. But I still want people to look at it like what itís always been, which is boot, Stunner. Eventually maybe Iíll try to hit it in different ways that are a bit more my own, put my own spin on it but for now Iím perfectly fine doing it this way.Ē