Corey Graves is the best commentator in professional wrestling today. I find him informed, articulate, and entertaining. And since announcing is inherently subjective, I can make whatever declaration I choose.
Professional Wrestling isn't subjective at all. It's all about wins and losses, dollars & cents, and a rear-end every 18 inches.
That's why the claims made by Kevin Owens on Monday Night RAW were so laughable. He is a stout young man with a chip on his shoulder, without question. He has had great success in the minor leagues of wrestling, sure. Yet standing with the great John Cena, without a shred of deference, is ludicrous.
To be fair to Owens, Cena brought this upon himself with his audacious US Open Challenge. Cena understands what it means to be a WWE Superstar. He knows that giving the fans what they want, in this case great matches for an important title on national television each week. That populist strategy comes with a certain element of risk. Especially when NXT Superstars began to crash the party.
Sami Zayn, Owens chief rival in both NXT and life, was injured in his responser to John Cena's US Open Challenge. Why? Because Zayn has never faced a wrestler as powerful, savvy, or downright good as Cena. For all the challenger's pep and fire, he simply wasn't ready for an obstacle as staunch as Cena.
And that's ok! Zayn happened to be in Montreal at the time and simply took the opportunity that was presented to him. He exposed his skills to a wider audience, made a good accounting of himself, and took one on the chin. Now he can go back to the drawing board and be better prepared for the next time opportunity knocks.
This Owens situation is altogether different. He seems to resent John Cena for all his success and bristles at the notion that anyone can be somehow above him. Cena is the current United States Champion and a world's champion many times over. He is regarded by such luminaries as Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan as one of the very greats of all time. He's defeated a who's who of wrestling legends at Wrestlemania, from Shawn Michaels, to "Wrestling God" JBL, to The Rock.
With all that success comes fame and its trappings. Cena is a worldwide television celebrity and a net worth of $35 million dollars according to celebritynetworth.com. Kevin Owens isn't listed on that website. And it's not because he doesn't have any money, he may well be independently wealthy, rather because he isn't a celebrity!
Owens is adored by a tight knit cadre of diehard underground wrestling fans. He is unknown to the public. Owens' rebuttal to this type of criticism is that he hasn't gotten his shot until now. True enough, but shouldn't he take a minute to consider why that is? He's rocking a #dadbod and a duct tape t-shirt. That type of thing is catnip for the underground wrestling cabal, but it won't get you cast in an Amy Schumer movie.
Kevin Owens walks to the beat of his own drum and I respect him for it, but his chosen lifestyle was never going to lead to mainstream recognition. What it has given him is a chance. I absolutely think that he has a chance to defeat John Cena at Elimination Chamber, especially after his brazen attack this week, but for Owens to consider himself somehow disrespected for not being mentioned in the same breath as an all-time great like Cena? Absurd.
For now the, best compliment I can give is: Of all the wrestlers that don't matter, Kevin Owens matters the most.
OFFICIAL WRESTLER WRANKINGS FORMULA
ANY WIN = 2 POINTS
US OR INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE BOUT = 1 POINT
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT = 3 POINTS
NON "BIG 4" PPV BONUS = 1.5X
SUMMERSLAM, SURVIVOR SERIES, ROYAL RUMBLE = 2X BONUS
WRESTLEMANIA = 3X BONUS
The WWE season begins on the day after WrestleMania 31 and culminates with WrestleMania 32. The wrestler who accumulates the most points over the course of the season, wins the coveted Wrankings Championship!
Payback-- 5/17/15 (1.5x bonus included)
Monday Night Raw-- 5/18/15
Main Event -- 5/19/15
Smackdown -- 5/21/15
WRESTLER WRANKINGS, WEEK 8 *TOP TEN*
T1. John Cena -- 25 points
T1. Seth Rollins -- 25 points
T3. Neville -- 21
T3. Randy Orton -- 21
5. Dean Ambrose -- 18.5
T6. Dolph Ziggler -- 14
T6. Roman Reigns -- 13.5
T8. Bad News Barrett -- 13
T8. Sheamus -- 13
T8. Stardust -- 13
T32. Kevin Owens -- 0
Thanks for reading, Cagesiders. We'll see you back here next week!