The subject of how much of what we hear coming out of WWE Superstars’ mouths on Raw and SmackDown is their own words vs. the words of Vince McMahon and the writing team has been a hot topic this week. The Roman Reigns/John Cena contract signing segment on the Aug. 28 edition of Raw has generated rumors about the work/shoot content of their speeches, and reignited debate about the company’s policy on improvisation.
So an interview with Kevin Owens, one of the current roster’s best talkers - and the rare star who can come out on top of a promo battle with Cena, is certainly timely.
Speaking to The Argus Leader ahead of SmackDown taping in Sioux Falls, South Dakota next Tuesday, Owens described how his long program with Chris Jericho came to be, and revealed both he and his former partner and rival were given some latitude with their material:
“We were randomly paired up for one Smackdown once, and Vince [McMahon] really liked us together, so he decided to keep doing it. We ad-libbed some stuff at liberty as far as how we were directed, and we just let our natural ability take the lead.”
After the piece’s author, Kelley Simms, mentions Owens’ “top-notch” mic work, and how you can tell it apart from others who are reading a script line-by-line. KO explained:
“I’m sure other performers get different guidelines, and I think it’s a day-by-day scenario of who gets to have more freedom than other people. We always get help with our interviews from our writers, but you learn to find ways to get your own credits instead of using somebody else’s words. Some people are good at it, and other people aren’t as good. But the people who are good at it usually get more leeway of how to speak and what to say because the fact they can carry an interview.
I always know where I’m going, and I know what they want me to deliver. But I do get to put my own spin on it most of the time."
While he doesn’t name names other than himself and Y2J as people who receive “leeway”, this is good fodder for the ongoing debate.
Cena certainly has the most freedom of anyone on the roster... what “guidelines” does Roman get? Who else gets their “own credits”?
Speculate away below, and check out the whole interview here for more from Kev on moving away from the “New Face of America” gimmick, possibly playing a babyface in the future, and more.