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WWE says Kevin Owens is injured, but is he a babyface?

According to what smells like a storyline update from, Bobby Lashley’s Oct. 8 attack on Kevin Owens during Raw left the former Universal champ with two injuried knees.

For those of you scoring at home (or even if you’re by yourself), those are all the knees KO has.

Owens hasn’t been wrestling a ton on television or the house show circuit lately. If you were, like me, a little concerned his recently lighter workload and this angle might be cover for a real injury, Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio he thinks it’s a work designed to get Lashley’s heel turn over. He expects Owens will be kept off television for a while to help that cause. If that also allows the Canadian to heal up from any lingering issues? All the better, in my book.

The other interesting aspect of this story concerns how Owens will be presented on television whenever he is brought back. That WWE was working to get a negative reaction for Lashley and Lio Rush was obvious. KO was being cheered by at least parts of the crowd throughout the segment. But this was in Chicagoland - a famously ‘smart’ crowd/”heel territory”.

Many fans have been sensing and/or hoping for an Owens face turn for months. There was a sympathetic read to his feud with Braun Strowman (with Strowman officially returning to villainy shortly after winning the program), and even his alliance with Elias against Lashley was based partly on the Dominator having taken out his best friend Sami Zayn earlier this year.

Owens character has evolved throughout his time in WWE, but he’s never been presented as a babyface. Past hints of a turn have just been set-up for him to attack other popular characters. Will this time be different?

We’ll find out once those knees are better, I reckon.

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