A recent chorus of voices joining the body positive movement is resounding from a most unlikely of places: WWE fans, in support of rising Superstar Kevin Owens.
At 6 feet tall and 266 pounds, Owens isn’t breaking any barriers with his stats. Nor is he the first fat guy in the game. But compared to the tan, chiseled look of the current face of WWE, John Cena, a bearded guy with a belly seems to be challenging the image of what sells.
Last week on Monday Night RAW, Owens graciously stomached a verbal jab from opponent Randy Orton about his weight. In a sport that thrives on smack-talking, it was clearly a cheap shot that didn’t play well when Owens didn’t bite.
Despite Owens’ place in the current storyline as a “heel” (the villain), wrestling fans in the Twitterverse were disappointed with the low blow and took to social media to call out WWE Exec Kevin Dunn for orchestrating the comment:
Kevin Owens debuted in the WWE this year after a meteoric rise to the top of the WWE’s developmental organization, NXT. He built a reputation as an extremely talented fighter; ruthless, powerful and charismatic. Somehow, he still manages to be endearing to fans. Owens harnesses the “everyman” vibe and claims that fighting is the only way he knows how to provide for his wife and two children.
The Bleacher Report digs deeper into some conspiracy theory level stuff about competing forces among the powers-that-be hoping for NXT up-and-comers to fail. Wrestling bloggers are calling out WWEexecs for the hypocrisy in their programming; on one hand they have a PSA campaign against bullying, on the other, they tear down one of their own for his appearance despite being acclaimed as one of the hottest new additions to the lineup.
Whether the WWE heeds the response of the driving force of the industry- the fervent fans- or not, could have an interesting ripple effect on their brand. And the fans have spoken in favor of Kevin Owens.