WWE superstar Kevin Owens spoke with ESPN ahead of tonight's Monday Night Raw to talk all things pro wrestling. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Wanting to entertain his peers at this year's empty arena WrestleMania:
Through the years I've kind of grown close with a lot of the crew, you know, the stage managers, the camera people, the technical guys. I know there's no bigger compliment that can be paid to me than when one of those guys comes up to me and says hey, that match was really great or what you did in that that match or that move you did or that promo and stuff like that, because most of them have been [in WWE] for 20, 25 years. They've seen ... a lot of WWE wrestling. So for these people who have seen it all, have been through it all and experienced it all, still come up to me and be able to say they enjoyed something I did, that really means a lot. So I almost started thinking of them as the audience and [wanted] them to be entertained.
Not being afraid to tell WWE management how he feels:
I know people, for some reason, tend to assume that that's the kind of thing that would happen, and that's just the way people want to think about certain situations. I've been [in WWE] for five years. I have never once been afraid to tell the company that I couldn't go to a show or something like that because something was happening with my family. They're always extremely receptive. The company's never made me feel like my career or my spot or anything like that could be in jeopardy. It's the same here with this situation. I tell them how I feel, they respect how I feel. Even with the mask, that could be seen as something kind of small, right? But it wasn't. I brought them my concern, and it was immediately taken very seriously.
Says he wouldn't have gone back to work during the pandemic if it weren't for his wife:
I wanted to make sure that she's comfortable with me being in the house after I've been around a bunch of people. Honestly, if it wasn't for my wife telling me, 'OK, the company is clearly making efforts, I think you should go to work, see how things are,' I wouldn't have gone back.
His respect for Rey Mysterio:
In my opinion, along with Shawn Michaels, [Rey is] the greatest wrestler of all time. He's a great guy, and anybody in wrestling you talk to will say the same. But it means even more when it's a guy who's achieved that level of success, who's achieved the kind of milestones that he's had. For him to still be around now and to still be just as incredible in the ring as he's ever been, and to still be as humble. ... I think that what has drawn me to him is he's so humble, even though he would have any and all reasons not to be. When I heard he was coming back to WWE [in 2018], I was so pumped at the prospect of working with him, the prospect of being around him and just getting to learn. It's not like I'm sitting under the learning tree. I just watch him, the kind of person he is, and I learn because that's the kind of legacy I want to leave behind in wrestling. His son is now getting involved and it's been great to see his son around. He's everything a wrestling veteran should be.