Watching WWE television in 2017 can often be a frustrating experience. Few storylines play out in the way that we would like and many spiral out of control, losing the semblance of where they began. When one comes along that is booked right, it feels strangely special and fresh. When it pays off, we feel satisfied and validated that the thing that we love still has relevance and power.
Out this week, the new WWE DVD collection — Fight Owens Fight – The Kevin Owens Story — tells a narrative that is almost uniquely perfect. Powerful, rounded, and satisfying, the hour-long documentary charts the rise of Kevin Steen to Kevin Owens and his dream of performing for this company and winning its ultimate title.
The DVD is the story of a man driven to succeed in an industry that has almost always been about aesthetics, where talent and desire can be overlooked in favor of physique and tone. Owens’ passion to work for the biggest wrestling company on Earth to do what he does is obvious and the number who doubted him are countless.
The underdog overcoming adversity might seem an all too familiar narrative in the age of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, but the Owens version is presented in such a convincing way here that it feels like the first.
Owens had been at this for 15 years before he got to be where he wanted and it shouldn’t be underestimated. That wonderful moment where the then-NXT Champion was face-to-face with John Cena on his first Raw in 2015, telling Cena where he could stick his “veteran advice” was the perfect blurring between fiction and truth.
And if the documentary has a fault, it is probably just that: the all too irritating WWE style of unnecessarily distorting reality to fit in with their version of events. But a significant plus is that Owens’ career in ROH allows us to see what we normally wouldn’t for a star who has come in from, say, TNA as we get a taste for some of his work pre-NXT and footage of his excellent work in ROH.
Seeing Owens sit down to talk in-depth about his private and professional life overwhelmingly illustrates that he is a complete and dedicated family man. Yes, his family starts at home with his wife and two children, but it extends into his work. The likes of Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, Neville, and Jimmy Jacobs are very much a close-knit unit of support and trust; a surrogate family that has been as consistent as any household. His parents are also still central in his life which makes the man all the more grounded and likeable.
With every year that goes by with Owens on the main roster, his library of high quality matches will grow exponentially, but for now, that inarguable quality is mainly limited to his big event/PPV matches. Thus, fans will have the usual gripe: if you are a WWE Network subscriber, you are largely buying this for the documentary and for a couple of matches that you can’t currently access. One such match is a strong tag team bout taped in Paris with Owens working alongside Triple H against Sami Zayn and Dean Ambrose.
The strong case for parting with your money is just as it has been over the last few years with these WWE DVD collections: the company is the master at documenting absolutely everything.
There is always a camera in the right place and the right time, often following Owens at spike points in his career. That means you get the unique backstage insight into his work and interactions with others, and if you’re a staunch fan of Owens, that alone will probably feel priceless.
For hardcore fans of Kevin Owens, Fight Owens Fight won’t tell you much that you didn’t already know. It probably won’t show you matches that you haven’t already seen. In fact, it won’t make you think about wrestling in any particularly new or profound way. But what it will do is show you how hard Kevin Owens has worked to get to where he is and, more importantly, it will tell you a wholly satisfying, true story.