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Kevin Owens was close to returning to NXT

NXT and AEW have been battling it out for ratings supremacy on Wednesday nights since October 2019. Rumors from around that time indicated a Kevin Owens return to NXT was in the works, which would help build their television audience.

Owens ultimately stayed put on Raw and SmackDown; Finn Balor was the main roster star who WWE moved over to NXT in a long-term role. Owens did return to NXT for one match as a surprise partner at NXT TakeOver: WarGames in November, but he has not been a factor in the Wednesday Night War.

KO spoke to CBS Sports about this topic, and confirmed that he had discussions with Vince McMahon about moving back to NXT:

“For a while there, it looked like I was going to head back to NXT. I had even discussed it with Vince McMahon and stuff like that. I was excited about it. I don’t know if it would have been a long or short term thing. I’ve been vocal about wanting to go back there because I’d love to help make it grow even more and help make it as big as it can get and make it so we have three brands people know about. I would love for people to be just as aware of NXT as they are about Raw and SmackDown. I would have loved to be a part of that, but some decisions were made that I had to stay put on Raw and SmackDown. That’s fine, but I would love the chance to go back.

I talk to Triple H pretty regularly and we bring it up once in a while. It’s just about timing. There’s a lot of opportunities. The landscape of WWE is changing quite a bit through this situation and I think it’s going to keep evolving. The ideal scenario for me would be for NXT to be viewed as a third brand, and if it’s not already, it’s pretty close. I’d love to be a part of anything. I love to contribute to SmackDown, to Raw, to NXT. I just want to go where I’m needed and try to make a difference.”

Even though Owens has been a mainstay on Raw throughout 2020, it sounds like a move to NXT is something he’s excited about and still occasionally discusses with Triple H. But he’s also happy helping out the main roster, if that’s where the company thinks his talents are best utilized right now. I can’t blame WWE for keeping him on Monday nights; three hour empty arena Raw episodes sorely need someone like Owens who can do it all at a high level, particularly given his excellence on the mic.

The rest of the interview paints a picture where Owens plans to wrestle for a long time, and is in no rush to for an accelerated push to the top of the card.

“I’ve had so many big moments in WWE where the follow-through wasn’t what people would have expected. I think, eventually, there’s going to be a big breakthrough, or I hope that there will be a big breakthrough where I can capitalize on the momentum and keep things going the right way. But I’m kind of in no rush. I don’t see myself not doing this anytime soon. I’m going to be doing this for quite a while.”

Are you hoping to see Owens’ future big moments take place on NXT, or do you prefer that he remains an anchor on Raw?

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