Jim Cornette and Kevin Owens have history.
In a nutshell, and this is just this writer’s perspective on what was undoubtedly a pretty involved professional relationship conflict, when Cornette was head booker of Ring of Honor (ROH) in the early part of this decade, two of the most popular stars in the company didn’t fit his vision of an MMA-like promotion with Southern rasslin’ angles.
Those stars were Kevin Steen, now Owens, and El Generico, now Sami Zayn (deal with it).
These days, Cornette podcasts and does occassional indie appearances, and KO and Zayn are on Raw (that’s not meant as a slam, just a stating facts). The former Steenerico are quiet about their old boss, while Corney has mostly moved on to beefing with the Young Bucks.
Every once in a while, Cornette will speak on his issues with Owens & Zayn, and the jist of it usually is they’re successful now because they finally did what I was telling them to do back then.
PWInsider reached out to Cornette for his thoughts on Owens being crowned Universal champ last night (Aug. 29) on Raw, and got pretty much more of the same:
Well, first off, it doesn’t matter to me personally because unless Owens is wrestling The Revival sometime soon, I’m not going to see his matches as I don’t watch Raw, but I am thrilled for him and his fans and anyone who enjoys his work in the ring. The one thing I will admit that I was wrong on with both Owens and El Generico/Sami Zayn is that I never thought they would change, but they did and for the better – they just weren’t going to change for what they were being paid by Ring of Honor! [Laughs] I’ve had a lot of people go after me on Twitter today but the reality is that we put the belt on Kevin Steen for a year in Ring of Honor and there was a reason for that. But, he’s won a title I don’t care about on a show I don’t watch, so it doesn’t effect me personally, but I am happy for him, his fans, his family and anyone that wants to see him succeed.
Personally, I don’t see fundamental changes in either man (aside from Sami’s transformation from loveable underdog silent luchador to loveable underdog chatty ginger), but I’m not an insider, so maybe there’s big differences in how they work I’m not savvy enough to notice.
But I also don’t get why, if they’ve taken your advice to heart, you wouldn’t want to watch them work. In ROH, were you trying to get them to work in a way you found un-entertaining?
Anyway, the beat will go on — Cornette promises more on his next MLW Radio show, The Jim Cornette Experience — and at least the Memphis legend is gracious enough be happy for Owens and his fans.
Confused why kids who can't spell think I'm mad @FightOwensFight was given a belt by a company I don't care about on a show I don't watch.— Jim Cornette (@TheJimCornette) August 30, 2016
Well, most of the time anyway...