Hulk Hogan is undoubtedly among the most well-known professional wrestlers in history, and was the face of WWE (then WWF) for many years along the same lines of Steve Austin and John Cena; and Hogan sees something special like that in one of today’s most popular wrestlers: Kevin Owens.
“One of the guys who was in WWE before they let me go — and I don’t know if he was on anybody’s radar or anybody was watching him — who you would never expect Hulk Hogan to point out was Kevin Owens,” Hogan said on Bischoff on Wrestling (transcription via ESPN). “I told Triple H, ‘This kid Kevin Owens, no matter how he looks physically and no matter what you think about him, when he walks out, he’s over in such a weird way.'”
Hogan sees the natural instincts of a top wrestling performer in Owens, things which highlight his grasp for the art.
“I watched him work on an NXT match and he was just grinding old school like a heel. He was getting the heat, staying on a guy, letting a guy sell, walking away, going back to the dance, keeping his heat. Then I watched the baby face try to come up several times at the wrong time and Kevin had enough instincts to cut him off. And when he did let him come up, he was backpedaling like a Pat Patterson or a Hollywood Hogan or a real big chicken sh-t heel and he was over so well as a heel.
“I told Triple H, ‘If you get this guy up and running, he can turn into one of your greatest baby faces.
“I look to see a guy with a lot of hope who could break through this cookie-cutter menu that people have now to choose from and break through and change the game again. A guy like Kevin Owens shows me that hope spot that no matter how much TV you have to shoot, no matter how many towns you have to make — here is one guy that will put it back on track and make it easier for everybody to figure it out.”‘
Hogan goes on to say the last key aspect is understanding the “behind the scenes” side of the business and being a good politician.
He said Owens has all the potential from an in-ring and character perspective, and if he can also be a good politician in WWE, then he could reach those ultra-heights of the company.