Sine his debut in NXT in 2014, Kevin Owens used the Pop-Up Powerbomb exclusively as his finisher for a number of years. It was a versatile move that could be hit on anyone, from anywhere and embodied his character of a sadistic fighter perfectly.
Kevin Owens finisher helped him to become a world champion in WWE and won him a host of other important bouts, including a win over John Cena on his main roster debut. The Canadian wrestler used that until 2019 when he felt he needed a change and tried to come up with a new move to use as his finishing move.
He began his first Babyface run in 2019 and looked to adopt a new move to compliment the new attitude. While Kevin Owens finisher was the pop-up powerbomb, he elected instead to take inspiration from a WWE legend when thinking of a new move.
He took his new finishing move directly from “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The Texas Rattlesnake had been retired for nearly two decades and the time seemed right for somebody else to take the Stunner and make it their own. It had won Austin many WWE Championships and had provided some of the most legendary moments in wrestling, like his many stunners to Mr McMahon over the years.
Kevin Owen adopted the Stunner as a finisher in 2019 and continues to use it to this day. In a huge surprise, he actually wrestled Steve Austin in the main event of Wrestlemania 39. While Austin won his first match in 19 years, he seemed like a passing of the torch for the legendary move. Kevin Owens uses the Stunner to win most of his matches although he still pulls out the occasional pop-up powerbomb when he needs it most.
Kevin Owens Asked To Use The Stone Cold Stunner
Kevin Owens asked “Stone Cold” Steve Austin if he could adopt the Stunner as his own finishing move after seeing how diluted the powerbomb had become in the WWE.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Inside The Ropes‘ very own Kenny McIntosh, Kevin Owens revealed how he came up with the new finishing move and why he felt the need to move on from his classic powerbomb move.
“Well, so it wasn’t my original motivation, obviously, wasn’t at the core of the reason why I went to ask him about whether or not I could use the Stunner as my finishing move. At the time, I just felt like a lot of people were doing Powerbombs and the Pop-Up Powerbomb was my finishing move and I’m like, ‘I think I need something different’.
So I tried to think of something new that nobody was doing, and then it occurred to me that nobody was really doing the Stunner and then, you know, I was looking at the landscape of things and everybody does a Superkick, and the Superkick was Shawn Michaels’ finishing move.
Nobody ever used it as good as him, but nobody was using the Stunner and to me, those are pretty much two of the most iconic finishers of all time. So I’m like, ‘Well, the Superkick’s obviously kind of spoken for. The Stunner is my favourite move of all time. It’s probably a lot of people’s favourite move of all time. There’s just something about it that’s so exciting to see.”
Former Universal Champion Kevin Owens went on to say that he asked Austin for his blessing to do the move – to which the WWE Hall of Famer remarked that Owens was the first man to ever ask him to use the move.
I know the guy who used to do it. I’m going to go ask him. So I did. He was very happy to tell me that I could use it. Give me his blessing, he said, ‘I don’t know why nobody came to me sooner about it’, and then from that point on, it was just finding the right time to do it.
Once I started using it on television, it just took off from there and it’s funny because it’s been like a conflicting point for some people, you know, like I also have some people saying it’s awesome that you use it. We love it. I have a lot of people saying you should never use it. Stone Cold should be the only one using it, but it’s mine now, and if anything, like I said on Monday, I think WrestleMania is a perfect time to officially pass the torch to me.
So Steve, Steve and I can have a little toast and he can pass the torch to me as the one true king of the Stunner. I’m very excited about that.”
Kevin Owens has used the move to great effect over the years, although he has yet to win the WWE Championship. He is rumoured to be teaming with Sami Zayn to take on the Usos at Wrestlemania 39.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.