In an attempt to continue the kayfabe narrative of the current Smackdown Live storyline between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn and Shane McMahon and a returning Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens has changed his Twitter handle back to Kevin Steen and @fightsteenfight, following the firing of himself and Sami Zayn by Daniel Bryan this past Tuesday. Sami Zayn’s Twitter remains with his WWE name, presumably to maintain the story that his former indie persona, El Generico, had moved to Mexico to open an orphanage (and by all reports, passed away there).
Kevin Steen started his wrestling career in 2000, working with the Rougeau’s promotion in the Montreal area, before becoming a staple with Montreal’s International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS) in 2003. In 2004, he began working with CZW in the US, followed a year later with PWG. In 2007, he began working with Ring of Honor, a partnership that lasted until 2014, when Steen signed with the WWE and began working with NXT. Throughout his 14-year indie career, Steen was a ROH World Champion, 3x PWG World Champion, CZW Iron Man Champion, and multi-time tag team champion (ROH and 2x PWG Tag Team Champion with El Generico).
Steen’s name changed to Kevin Owens in NXT in 2014, a tribute to his son and favourite wrestler Owen Hart, capturing the NXT Championship in record time. He also debuted on the main roster months later, while still holding the NXT title, defeating John Cena clean in his PPV debut at Elimination Chamber ’15. He has since gone on to become a 2x WWE Intercontinental Champion, 3x WWE United States Champion, and the second man to win the WWE Universal Championship.
It will be interesting to see how strongly the Owens/Zayn firing goes, but the return of Owens’ indie name (which also happens to be his real name) has lead many to wonder if WWE will allow Steen to potentially work at least one indie promotion during his time away to further the narrative that he no longer works for the WWE.