Missed 3:16: Job Owens Job?

hat our own John Corrigan said: Perfect weekend aside from Kevin Owens tapping out to the Antichrist. #WWEBattleground — John Corrigan (@Notready4Radio) July 20, 2015 This tweet perfectly encapsulates...
Credit: Kevin Owens promo (WWE)
Credit: Kevin Owens promo (WWE)
What our own John Corrigan said:

This tweet perfectly encapsulates the feeling that the majority of fans are experiencing coming away from last weekend’s WWE Battleground pay-per-view.

The show wasn’t bad. In fact, most of it was rather good. A couple small booking decisions hindered the show from reaching its full potential and the one everybody is talking about is the finish of the John Cena-Kevin Owens United States Championship match.

The finish wasn’t the only thing wrong with the match.

In a perfect world, the whole match should have been done differently, and had it gone the right way, it could have led to a 3:16 moment for Kevin Owens—who certainly would have shattered the glass ceiling into a million little pieces.

“But Jack, this match had it all. John Cena did the Canadian Destroyer again. Kevin Owens hit the ‘AA’ and it had all sorts of false finishes and all the suspense you could ask for!”

being asked what he thought about Rob Van Dam in the early 2000’s. While Michaels admitted he was a fan of RVD’s talent, he also admitted that he wanted to see him make what he does “mean more.”

In other words, Michaels said he wanted to see Van Dam use his unique maneuvers less in repeated succession and more in a way that paints a better picture for the audience. When all the moves are given away in one match, then the audience starts to see the same match over and over again, until eventually they sour on the talent for being “stale.”

Of course, Van Dam made it to the big time anyway and I don’t think anyone would ever accuse him of being stale.

But Michaels had a good point. It’s one of the aspects of wrestling that is holding back talented guys like the Young Bucks and it held back the third Cena-Owens bout—which should have been the best.

I went into the match expecting more of a brawl than the previous two matches had. After all, the heat between the two characters was at an all-time high with the United States Championship being at stake for the first time in their series. I wanted to see Owens tap further into the heelish side of his personality and I wanted Cena to hit a few fewer Attitude Adjustments.

Needless to say, the match delivered.

It delivered more of the same spots we saw in the previous two matches. Good spots, for sure. But also the same spots sometimes executed in the same order as the second match. The only difference was the finish, which got panned by critics and fans alike.

Booking Owens to tap out to Cena with no post-match retaliation completely neutralizes the efforts Cena made towards making Owens look like a legitimate threat.

I would have been okay with an Owens loss in the event that he could somehow conjure up a case for a rematch at SummerSlam. Maybe he could have taken the pinfall with a foot under the rope? Perhaps a double fall could have worked as well. Any controversial finish would have done nicely.

Giving him the ‘W’ would have worked too, but none of that was what happened.

What if Kevin Owens had gone over John Cena and become United States Champion—one year to the date of Kevin Steen’s final match in Ring of Honor? We would have had a 3:16 moment on our hands.

As his Raw appearances have proven, Kevin Owens is absolutely dynamite with a microphone in his hands. Scripted or not, he has the unique ability to make people care about what he says. Part of that has to do with his delivery and part of it has to do with the promises his character has kept up to this point.

Except for the one where he didn’t win the United States Championship from John Cena, which is precisely why he should have went over in the first place.

Let’s say he beats Cena with a second Pop-Up Powerbomb (not the third or fourth). Regardless of the bullet points Creative would have given him, he could have made it work. Owens could have talked about how he always delivers on promises. He could have degraded Cena’s catchphrases and how meaningless they are in the grand scheme. He could have called out the rest of WWE locker room. He could have heeled on the history of the belt.

He could have cut any post-victory promo and it would have worked.

Even better, let’s say Owens wins the match and cuts a scathing promo. The cherry on top would have been the unthinkable: a Powerbomb to the apron for the second consecutive pay-per-view.

This would have undoubtedly humiliated the Cena’s character and drawn so much interest in a fourth match at SummerSlam that it would have trailed only Lesnar-Undertaker in terms of interest level.

And remember, this is a mid-card title we’re talking about here. A couple years ago, the United States Championship was merely portrayed as Dean Ambrose’s prop during the Shield’s reign of terror.

Did the Creative drop the ball on what could have been the 3:16 moment to elevate Owens to main-event status in just his second full month in the company? Sure they did. But remember, this is Kevin Owens we’re talking about. He is talented in every facet of wrestling and will have every opportunity to succeed going forward, especially as Triple H is given more of a leash on the creative side of things.

As I’ve stated repeatedly on the Wrestledelphia Podcast, Owens is also the perfect foil to Cena’s character. When I first heard that Owens was WWE bound, the prospect of a feud with Cena immediately came to mind because of the discrepancy between their characters.

Wrestler vs anti-wrestler.

WWE made vs Indy made.

Politically correct vs politically incorrect.

Clean-cut hero vs slovenly, insolent jerk.

But at the core, John Cena and Kevin Owens are two talented, driven individuals who want nothing more than to be the best at what they do. It’s what made Austin vs The Rock so special; what made Flair vs Rhodes so special. Owens has the potential to not only become a superstar, but also John Cena’s greatest rival.

Wrestledelphia.com columnist Jack Goodwillie can be reached at . Follow him on Twitter at .

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