Postcard | Getting back to hockey, 20 years later

(Tampa, Florida) Quebecer Kevin Owens has been living in the Orlando area for years, as the WWE training center is located there. The Lightning is therefore the team closest to home, and then, as he repeats, “the Lightning is very accommodating with [lui] ! “. Understand by this that it never has any trouble finding tickets.

That’s why he drove from Orlando to Tampa to watch this game no 2. With him: his son, Owen. (Not Owen Owens, don’t worry… Kevin Owens’ name is just a nod to his son. His real name is Kevin Steen.)

And with them, two other Quebec wrestlers, Matthew Lee and Jeff Parker, who were known as Matt Martel and Chase Parker, from Team Ever-Rise. “Were” known by these names because WWE released them last week, a move that took the wrestling world by surprise. “I invited them over to try and cheer them up a bit,” Owens says.

We find the quartet in the large public square in front of the arena. Not without Owens being attacked by two wrestling fans – wearing the Canadian jersey – who recognized him. “The last time I saw you was at Trudeau airport!” », Launches one of them.

During their photo, we chat with Lee and Parker, in good spirits despite the recent end of their contract. “It feels good to speak French! Parker says.

It’s time for the photo. The guys are watching the result. “Make sure Owen doesn’t get past me!” », Jokes Martel. At 13, the young teenager is already taller than his father.

For Kevin Owens, it’s the result of a reconciliation with hockey. When he was 15, when he started training to be a professional wrestler, hockey took the edge. Right winger at Marieville, he had already stopped playing at the peewee level.

I don’t remember it very well. But my parents tell me that when I decided I wanted to score, I would go and do it. And my coach was like, “Why don’t you do this for 20 minutes?” But I didn’t love it, so I didn’t give myself so intensely.

Kevin owens

He also played soccer, but at age 11, an open double fracture in one leg, sustained during training, ended the project. “It cut my passion off stiff. ”

Baseball ? “A game on Monday evening made me miss Monday Night RAW, so I didn’t want to play anymore! Owens says.

But if wrestling took him away from hockey, that’s also what brought him closer. Because he comes from a background that loves hockey. His father, Terry, is a big fan, while his half-brother, Yannick Noiseux, played at a fairly good level in Cowansville.

Thus, before the pandemic, he had bought tickets to attend a Canadian game at the Bell Center with his father.

“The following week, I was invited to Madison Square Garden as a representative of WWE, to promote a show. And Adam Graves, who works for the Rangers, was there. I remembered him, I played with his character at NHL 97 ! The Rangers received me really well, and I was slowly starting to take an interest in hockey again. ”

The pandemic obviously put the brakes on all of that, but then again, his WWE star status opened doors for him. For example, when he was invited to the podcast The blue pocket.

“They asked me to do their pool. I finished first in the star category! But it’s thanks to my father: he’s the one who chose our players quite a bit, I don’t have much to do with that! My dad was giving me news from the pool so I was interested in the season.

“When the playoffs started, I followed a little more. The series against Toronto, I watched it on TV and I was in it! Then I attended a Lightning-Panthers series game at Sunrise. It really brought me back to 100%, I followed the rest of the playoffs. And there is the perfect scenario: Tampa against Montreal. ”

What about his allegiance in all of this? Even if the Lightning treats him with a smile, he recalls that ” [s]one patriotic interest goes for the Canadian ”.

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