Kevin Owens quickly became one of the most popular superstars in WWE when he emphatically debuted opposite John Cena back in 2015.
Cena was ostensibly the babyface in their programme, but Owens was so good in his role that fans quickly gravitated to him.
Owens portrayed a heel for much of his WWE career there on out, but the fans always yearned to cheer for him.
In 2019 they finally got their wish. After a few twist and turns on SmackDown, Owens was established as a good guy and then headed to RAW where, under Paul Heyman, he would really take flight in his role.
When talkSPORT caught up with the challenger for Roman Reigns’ Universal title this Sunday at TLC, we asked Owens about finally turning babyface and the role Heyman played in his development.
“I don’t know how to put it, man,” Owens started, gazing out of his car. “Paul was instrumental in those days just trying to help me navigate the obstacles I was running into as this change of attitude was happening, and there were several which I’m not going to go into now.
“From story purposes to just, a lot of times what happens in WWE, the story that we create and the story we tell, what we show the audience is dictated by circumstances that we can’t even fathom.
“Maybe somebody gets hurt or something happens that’s beyond our control and we have to change the plans. That happened so many times in ways that have affected me and my story and my standing.
“But Paul was great at helping me navigate it and being an ear for me and I think a lot of talent would say that.
“Paul was always available to talk. I don’t know how many times I spoke to him at one, two, three in the morning for an hour about wrestling, what I was doing, about what other people were doing, just about wrestling in general. Philosophy, psychology and whatever.
“So yeah, he’s definitely somebody who was open – and he still is to this day – to talent that want to reach out to him,” Owens concluded.
Ironically, Heyman will stand across from Owens this Sunday as he works in the corner of Reigns these days.
Make sure you check out TLC this Sunday, December 20 on BT Sport or the WWE Network from midnight UK time