MONTREAL – It was Kevin Owens’ homecoming last night in Montreal and the crowd reacted to him like the Superstar he has become in recent months. After the Rougeaus, Dino Bravo and Pierre-Carl Ouellet, wrestling fans in Montreal have a new hero.
Although usually a heel on TV or on regular live events, there was no way Kevin Owens would be booed Friday night at he Bell Centre. Not only a new t-shirt was designed for him with his KO logo with the Montreal Canadiens’ colours, he was announced by none other than WWE Hall of Famer and Montreal-native, Pat Patterson.
Under these circumstances, his opponent, Cesaro, had to be the heel in the match. It was such a clear cut case that when the two of them exchanged some punches, the crowd treated them with the “yay-boo” chants.
After a very good match and a lot of near falls, Owens pinned Cesaro with a second pop-up power bomb.
He then took the mic and said he was happy he could perform in his hometown in front of his family, his parents, his wife and kids.
Then, he added a little something for Sunday night’s Night of Champions.
“This Sunday at Night of Champions, I will follow the lead of Quebecers in the WWE because Ryback, I’m taking you Intercontinental championship!”
Like pretty much everything Owens related Friday night, it got a huge reaction from the crowd.
As a matter of fact, Owens could become the fourth Quebec wrestler to win the Intercontinental title after the very first one, Pat Patterson in 1979, “The Mountie” Jacques Rougeau in 1992 and Chris Benoit, four times in the early 2000s.
Being vocal for Owens wasn’t the only thing the approximately 6,000 fans in attendance were willing to do. They were willing to spend money as well. All the different KO t-shirts were a huge hit all night. The new one with the Montreal Canadiens colours was the best seller, as by intermission, there were no more larges and x-larges available.
If Owens got the biggest reaction of the evening, the returning Dudley Boyz and Dolph Ziggler, the latter sporting a Montreal Canadiens jersey with the number 69 on the back, were also very popular with the crowd. Team PCB, especially Charlotte, was pretty over too.
According to many, Owens vs Cesaro and Ziggler vs Rusev were the two best matches on the card.
If WWE came four times in the province of Quebec – three in Montreal – in 2014, this show was the second and last one for 2015, after a Raw taping on May 4th. No future date was announced but it is believed that the company will comeback in the spring of next year.
Considering the attendance figure being way more than the last house show in town, all the media attention the presence of Owens got and the merchandise sales, WWE might have in Owens the local star that they have been missing in recent years. Historically speaking, the territory has always worked better with a Quebecer being well placed in the WWE hierarchy. And with a soon-to-be returning Sami Zayn, Quebec fans might be good for a treat in the next few years.
In the meantime, fans will be able to follow Owens’ accomplishment on Raw on Sportsnet 360 as well as on PPV on the WWE Network.
Here’s the quick results of last night’s show:
Neville beat Stardust with a 450 splash
Team PCB defeated Team Bad when Charlotre hit the Natural Selection on Tamina. Natalya was the special guest referee.
Dolph Ziggler beat Rusev, accompanied by Summer Rae, with the Zig Zag.
The Prime Time Players defeated WWE World tag team champions New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) & The Dudley Boyz in a three-way match when Kofi pinned Bubba with a small package. After the match, the Dudleyz put Xavier Woods through a table.
Intercontinental champion Ryback beat WWE World Heavyweight & US champion Seth Rollins by DQ when Rollins used a chair outside the ring.
R-Truth defeated The Miz with the Lie Detector.
Kevin Owens beat Cesaro with a pop-up powerbomb.
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose defeated Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper when Ambrose hit the Dirty Deeds on Wyatt after the lights went off and Braun Stowman had interfered.