In addition to build up, both experience and quality wrestling were factors in the boundless success of the NXT Champion’s stellar bout with the WWE United States Champion. This was a Champion vs. Champion match.
KO always had plenty to say to Cena, especially about experience. Owens noted that his own 15 years in the business have brought him to current success. Another comment was that he’s been a pro wrestler longer than Cena. To backup his claims, Owens hit The Cenation Leader with a pop-up powerbomb on two different occasions.
All of these actions highlighted Owens’ main message: John Cena will lose.
Three weeks of intense feuding continued, then these two phenomenons finally put their wrestling abilities to the test.
Ding. Ding. They locked up, and there were echoing cheers, which would get even louder and more intense. Like always, there were the typical “Let’s go Cena!” and “Cena sucks!” chants, however, this was the first time fans chanted “Fight Owens fight!” on such an exciting WWE occasion.
Owens started the match off strong, hitting Cena with different moves, such as a vicious DDT.
From the start, KO had more trash-talk for Cena, most of which was followed by a rough forearm.
The US Champ eventually began to rally, after executing a shoulder tackle on Owens. However, he then caught Cena and drove him into the mat.
Moments later, there was a bit of a momentum shift when Cena successfully hit his opponent with two shoulder tackles, setting up for a Five Knuckle Shuffle, which would work out fine.
After getting this signature move down, Cena would go for an Attitude Adjustment, only to be countered with an electrifying pop-up powerbomb, but somehow Cena was able to kick out.
A few minutes passed and Cena hit Owens with an AA. The crowd was shocked once again, but this time it was because Owens was the one who lifted a shoulder.
Mocking his opponent, Owens tried to hit Cena with a Five Knuckle Shuffle. The Cenation Leader was able to counter this by locking in the STF. This submission only lasted for about 15 seconds, though.
Next up came the most shocking moment of the entire match: Owens hit Cena with an Attitude Adjustment. Commentators yelled due to surprise, while fans’ jaws dropped. As crazy as this was, Cena was able to kick out.
Although he didn’t finish off Cena with the AA, Owens did a perfect job backing up his trash-talk. This went to show that KO’s words shouldn’t be confused with his wrestling skills. Rather, his talk is just another way to prove his dominance inside a wrestling ring.
Shortly following Owens’ unbelievable AA, Cena suddenly planted Owens with a tornado DDT. The U.S. Champ kept up with the pace when he executed a leg drop to Owens’ neck. Trying to capitalize on his momentum, Cena was going for another AA on his opponent. However, Owens was able to turn Cena’s move into a powerful suplex. Nearfall.
Both competitors started exchanging punches to the head, only to set up Cena for a springboard stunner. It’s hard to tell which was more stunning: the move itself, or the fact that Owens kicked out.
There must have been a record broken for most momentum shifts and kickouts.
Cena tried to hit his opponent with a vertical suplex, but somehow Owens was able to deliver a suplex of his own, instead. 1-2-2?.
KO went on to hit a senton bomb, leaving Cena down on the mat, but it was only another nearfall.
After coming down from the top rope, Owens waited for his opponent to get up, only for Cena to dish out a nasty clothesline. Then Cena hit another one, which nearly turned Owens insideout.
Owens ducked what would have been a third clothesline. He bounced off the rope, finally getting the chance to give Cena another pop-up powerbomb.
But this time, Cena didn’t lift a shoulder. One. Two. Three.
This matchup gave a perfect look at the variety of Owens’ moveset. He displayed agility with a senton bomb, and strength with an Irish whip, and his classic pop-up powerbomb, of course.
The result of this fantastic match was amazing itself. But when added up, his experience, talk, and wrestling style make him more extraordinary.
To describe the match itself, as well as Kevin Owens himself, one phrase can be used: Fight Owens Fight!