Kevin Owens: Even when I re-signed with WWE, I could've never guessed I'd be wresting Stone Cold a few months later

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If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** As Kevin Owens was speaking to San Antonio Express-News, he reflected on re-signing with WWE in late 2021. Owens said he could not have imagined that he’d be wrestling Stone Cold Steve Austin just a few months later.

It’s just such an unbelievable situation. You know, it’s not something that was fathomable, even at the time when I re-signed. I could have never guessed that a few months later, I’d be wrestling Stone Cold in the main event of WrestleMania. It just goes to show that you can never know what to expect here.

** Prior to the 1/25 AEW Dynamite, Ring of Honor announcer Bobby Cruise joined Busted Open Radio and spoke highly of Tony Khan and Khan’s team for how they handled the tributes to the late Jay Briscoe.

I am so pleasantly surprised — maybe I shouldn’t be surprised — in the months that I’ve worked for T.K. [Tony Khan], just even seeing some things from afar. He just pulls things off and to get this on the air (Jay Briscoe tribute match) is a great, great thing. Obviously, you’ve seen the fan response. Me just tweeting, not even tagging AEW or Ring of Honor or anything that I got the call to announce this is the most likes I’ve ever gotten on a tweet in my life and of course what they did last week, Tony acted so quickly, he got it put together so quickly, I couldn’t even get there in time to announce what they did after TV last Wednesday, what they taped for Honor Club that’ll be coming out so, yeah, total credit to T.K. and his team. Doing things the right way.

** The son of Umaga, Zilla Fatu is training to become a wrestler at Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling school. Zilla told MuscleManMalcolm that he does not want to just be a wrestler and brought up his desire to get into YouTube. He mentioned Jake Paul as someone he looks up to in that content creator space.

I just don’t want to do wrestling uce, I’m not gonna lie. I wanna do everything. One day, I’ll wake up and wanna do this and I actually wanna do it and I know it’s possible because like I said, I see other people doing it. One of the big people that I do look up to is people like Jake Paul… Don’t get me wrong, I still have love for wrestling and all that but my love is YouTube… It’s because YouTube really doesn’t have a certain niche that you can focus on. You can really just post anything, as long as you have a loyal fan base and right now uce, I really don’t see myself just being a wrestler. I have so much other stuff that I can do that I’m also good at and there’s also a bunch of other stuff that I wanna learn. I’m real big on experience and yeah, that’s what I’m focused on.

** Comedy Store Wrestling welcomed Big Bill onto their podcast for an in-studio conversation. He discussed Tony Khan’s decision to change his name from W. Morrissey to Big Bill and said he’s a team player. When he first hears a new name, there’s a bit of hesitancy but ‘Big Bill’ has stuck.

Big Bill was a name that Tony [Khan] came up with and he came up with the name and dude, like I said before, I’m there to be on the team. No matter what he said. ‘Big Bill’, that’s my f*cking name… Thank you Tony. The thing was, again, I had to trust the guy who knows what he’s doing because at first, anytime someone says a name for the first time, you’re like, ‘I don’t know.’ But now walking around backstage and then walking outside the arena and stuff, people, ‘Big Bill, Big Bill, Big Bill.’ It’s caught on so I dig it.

Outside of the wrestling space, Big Bill is going to pursue more stand-up comedy gigs to follow up on the one he’s done so far.

I think so, yeah (I’m gonna try more stand-up comedy). For sure. I mean, I didn’t (know it would) go that well the other night… and it’s fun as sh*t man and that feeling, that’s a real good feeling when you come off stage, that adrenaline rush. It was awesome so I’m definitely gonna pursue it. I’ve already been taking more notes and stuff.

Earlier in the conversation, he was asked what talent is he looking to wrestle and he brought up NJPW’s Hikuleo. Bill feels he could break out more athletic moves in a match with Hikuleo.

I want to work with Hikuleo. Like I was talking about before, being able to dig deep into the arsenal and being able to pull out some more athletic things and show people what I can do. Hikuleo would be perfect. I think that’s a match that I’d really like to have.

Currently, Bill is a part of The Firm in AEW and is regularly featured on-screen with Stokely Hathaway and Lee Moriarty. Bill said he’s fine with Stokely handling the promos but he’s confident in his own promo ability as well.

I’m open to either way (doing my own promos or my mouthpiece doing it for me). I’m very confident in my promo abilities, I know I’m very good at them. I don’t know who knows or who doesn’t know or who thinks I am. I am very confident. I know I’m extremely good but yeah, it takes some pressure off, especially having Stokely [Hathaway] do majority of the talking if not all of it. I don’t think I’ve even uttered a word on AEW television yet so, it’s been nice to have Stokely do that for me while I kind of get accustomed so, yeah… But if it ever happens, I’m extremely confident in my abilities. Very ready.

** On an April 2022 edition of IMPACT Wrestling on AXS, Big Bill (W. Morrissey) spoke to the audience in attendance about it being the first time he was back in the 2300 Arena since the seizure he had in that same venue in 2018. Bill described how emotional of a day that was while speaking to Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards on AEW Unrestricted. He called it a “spiritual experience”.

Very, very emotional (being back in the 2300 Arena for IMPACT Wrestling tapings in 2022). The last time I had been in there obviously was for the House of Hardcore show in December of 2018. I don’t remember leaving the building. It was very, very scary. For me, it’s not as scary because I experienced it and I wasn’t really sure what was going on but from everybody I talked to, it was an incredibly scary situation, no one really knew what was going on. That kind of set the tone for where I needed to take my life in the next few years because it was apparent to me after that-that if I didn’t clean up my act, it is very possible that, you know, I don’t wanna be morbid but, I could pass away. So that kind of set in motion a long process for me, a very rigorous process of getting sober and finding happiness and at that point in my life in 2018, I didn’t think I’d ever be happy. It was just a horrible time for me, very depressing, constant anxiety just all day long and drinking very heavily obviously so I was very, very miserable and to come back to that arena on that day as a totally different human being almost I would describe it, it was extremely positive, so many blessings in my life; my health, my happiness, I’m sober, I’m peaceful, I had a great girlfriend in Lexy [Nair] at the time, she was my girlfriend and I’m back in wrestling doing what I love more than anything in the world and to have the opportunity to be back in wrestling in the best shape of my life, I think doing the best work of my entire career, I had to take it all in. Yeah, I did get emotional in the promo that night. It was a very, very special evening and it was very positive looking forward, thinking about all the positive blessings I’ve had but also, it was a good reminder where things could go. It was a good reminder how badly things can get so, it was a really spiritual experience I would say for me.

During the Q&A portion of the show, Bill spoke about his change in attire and going from trunks and boots to jeans and Timberlands. The idea to switch up his style post-WWE came from Chris Jericho. Bill added that he feels more like himself now.

That was [Chris] Jericho’s idea (to switch up my ring attire). A long time ago, I talked to Chris. It had to be 2019. He said, ‘Man, everything you did in WWE, the look, scrap it.’ He said, ‘You gotta do something brand new’ and I was like, ‘Well what?’ And he was like, ‘Something brand new. I don’t know what but, everything needs to change.’ I had always thought about wearing jeans and Timberland boots. I mentioned that to him and he said, ‘Go see. See if it works out. That’s definitely different.’ I don’t know, I really enjoyed wearing that and I felt more confident wearing that, I felt more like myself again being authentic. Wearing trunks and those high boots, it’s not me. For me, it just didn’t feel right so wearing jeans and Timbs just felt right. It started with Jericho kind of telling me to switch things up and then the jeans and the Timbs, it felt organic to me. I was like, this is it. This feels right.

Looking back at Bill’s AEW debut, he squared off against Wardlow. It felt good for him to get the reaction he got and said it was kind of an emotional night.

Yeah, it felt really, really good (making my AEW debut). I hadn’t been on TV — well, national television in many, many years. I worked really hard to get back to where I’ve come from and to get back now from where I’ve come from. Put in a lot of hard work and that was a really special night for me because Tony [Khan] gave me the opportunity to come in and I think I did really well, we had a really, really good match and that was a very special night for me because it was the culmination of a lot of hard work. It was really awesome to see AEW for the first time from the backstage perspective and it was kind of an emotional night for me and Lexy [Nair] for sure because just after everything we had gone through and everything leading up to that moment so, that opportunity was really, really special, something I’ll never forget.

** Tokyo Sports had the opportunity to chat with Will Ospreay. The outlet asked Ospreay for his 2023 goals and he mentioned winning back the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. He’d also like to share the ring with STARDOM’s AZM and NOAH’s Naomichi Marufuji.

Of course I want the IWGP World Heavyweight Title. The opponent I would like to fight is Marufuji. I have loved him since I was a kid, and he has had a great influence on me, so I would like to fight him at least once. Also, if there is another joint event with STARDOM, I would like to work or fight with AZM. I’ve visited the STARDOM Dojo many times, and I’ve watched her since she was 14 years old. She’s like a daughter in the wrestling world. If those fights happen, Best Bout (award) two years in a row would be easy (laughs).

** Raquel Rodriguez is one of 30 participants in the 2023 women’s Royal Rumble. Rodriguez spoke to WYFF News 4 about the upcoming match in her home state of Texas. Raquel mentioned that she was ‘heartbroken’ she was not in the 2020 Rumble in Houston. She also shared that her father, former wrestler Rick González, told her he’s saving his tears for Saturday when he sees her wrestle on the ‘big stage’.

It is very exciting; it is very nerve racking. I think it was two or three years ago, the (Royal) Rumble was in Houston, Texas and I was hoping — because I had just had my debut on NXT. I was hoping to be part of that Rumble, but I wasn’t so I was very heartbroken, that one because I was like, oh! It’s Texas. When will the Rumble ever come back to Texas? This was my opportunity and lo and behold, the way the universe works for all of us, the Rumble is now in San Antonio this year and I am so excited because San Antonio is so close to my cousins, to my family, to the Valley so I know we’re gonna have a lot of people from the 956 coming up. My entire family’s coming, all of my family that I visited in San Antonio is gonna be there, my friends from college and basketball are all coming so, I’m very, very excited, I’m very nervous. I performed in front of all of them before but not at this level. Even my dad… last night when he picked me up from dinner, he was like, ‘I’m not gonna cry now, but I’m saving my tears for Saturday because this is the first time I’m gonna watch you on one of the big shows,’ as it he calls it. He goes, ‘It’s one of the big shows and we’re not gonna talk about it until Saturday because then I’ll cry’ (Raquel laughed). So I was like, ‘Okay, okay, I get it, it’s fine.’ But I think that’s what makes it more nerve racking too is just that everyone’s gonna be there enjoying themselves and it’s a big show, but I’m elated and so emotional and so grateful that I get this opportunity to perform in front of all of the people that I love.

While Rodriguez was in school, she majored in broadcast journalism and shared that if she was not a wrestler, she’d be pursuing a career in sports broadcasting.

I think if I wasn’t in the WWE right now, I definitely would be pursuing a career in sports broadcasting and I wanted to stay within sports, I wanted to do basketball, I wanted to do football, I wanted to be out on the field enjoying the games, maybe even getting a couple of interviews from some of the players so that’s what I was really looking forward to.

** For West Coast Pro’s Queen of Indies tournament, Nicole Savoy is coming out of retirement for one night only. Savoy retired from in-ring competition in May 2022.

** Former Ice Ribbon ring announcer Chiharu is launching a wrestling promotion.

** Lynell Jinks, Bryan Williams and Dino Zucconi of Visual Concepts guest appeared on the Wrestle Buddies podcast to discuss WWE 2K23.

** La Rosa Negra is replacing Jennacide on Team Rock ‘n’ Roll in the NWA Champions Series final on 1/31. Jennacide is out of action with an injury.

** On the latest episode of GAW TV, Mickie James, Lisa Marie Varon and SoCal Val discussed IMPACT Wrestling’s Hard To Kill pay-per-view.

** Ahead of the 2023 Royal Rumble event, The Miz chatted with E! News.

** The newest Battle of the Brands episode: 

** A story from The New Day’s media tour in Australia.

** Busted Open Radio welcomed ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan onto the show.

** Thom Latimer and NWA World Women’s Champion Kamille appeared on Sports Guys Talking Wrestling.

** January 26th birthdays: Mercedes Moné, Taylor Wilde.

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.