Famed tag team Steenerico look set to team up on the biggest stage of all this April, as Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn battle The Usos at Wrestlemania 39. After Kevin Owens saved Sami Zayn from The Bloodline following the main event of Elimination Chamber 2023 and reunited one of the most legendary teams in indepedent wrestling.
The duo used to team together in PWG and ROH, starting their team in 2005. At this time, Owens was going by his real name – Kevin Steen – whilst Sami Zayn wore a mask and went by the gimmick El Generico.
He was a Mexican Luchador who did not speak English, a far cry from the oft nuerotic and rambling Sami Zayn. However, working under the mask helped Zayn improve his body language and physical charisma that led him to become a big star in the WWE.
Steenerico was a portmanteu of both of their names, taking the Steen from Kevin Steen and adding the ending to Generico from El Generico, to creat Steenerico. The team of the two Canadian superstars was incredibly popular as the duo put on some of the best matches in PWG history, especially during their legendary feud with The Briscoes.
On December 19, 2009 at Final Battle 2009, ROH’s first live pay-per-view, after a loss to The Young Bucks, Steen turned heel by attacking El Generico. This would start one of the most iconic feuds of all time, one that would span decades and various companies, culminating in WWE. The pair wrestled all over the world, including in NXT, WWE and even at Wrestlemania – something the pair never thought they’d get to do together.
The pair have no teamed together since 2019. Before that, they were the top heel team on Smackdown, feuding with AJ Styles and Shane McMahon. Not known as Steenerico in WWE, the duo were simply known as “Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn”. They took part in Daniel Bryan’s first match back after his forced retirement, losing to The American Dragon and Shane McMahon in a tag team match at Wrestlemania 34.
Since then, both men have gone in different directions. Kevin Owens has been a main eventer in the company and has challenged Roman Reigns multiple times for the Universal Championship, being screwed out of victory at every turn. He also faced “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the main event of Wrestlemania 38, in the Texas Rattlesnake‘s first match in 19 years.
Meanwhile, Sami Zayn has been locked in a feud with Roman Reigns and The Bloodline for 10 months. He joined the group in 2022 but was not accepted as part of the family. He was forced to do more and more things for Reigns to trust him, although the trust never came. He gained an ally in Jey Uso and had one of the most compelling storylines WWE has put on in years.
It all came to a head at Royal Rumble 2023, when Owens vs Reigns main evented for the WWE Championship. The Bloodline attacked Kevin Owens after the match, but Zayn refused and instead attacked Reigns with the chair. He refused to hurt his friend and ended his allegiance with The Bloodline once and for all.
Sami Zayn wrestled Roman Reigns at Elimination Chamber 2023 in Montreal, losing to the Tribal Chief. He was beaten down after the watch but was saved by Kevin Owens, seemingly reuniting the Steenerico tag team once again in the WWE.
It is rumoured that this is setting up Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs The Usos at Wrestlemania 39. This would likely be the end of The Usos legendary title reign with both belts, having been undisputed tag champions for almost a year. It could also be the defining moment of both men’s career, giving them a huge moment on pay per view, but not as rivals. As friends.
It is very unlikely they will be named Steenerico at Wrestlemania 39. WWE has not acknowledged Zayn’s past as El Generico, and Kevin Owens has never been known as Kevin Steen. It is likely they will call them “Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn” and not try to come up with a fun name for the duo.
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.