Kevin Owens began his career in 2000 at the age of 16. Prior to joining WWE in late 2014, from 2007 Steen wrestled under his birth name for Ring of Honor (ROH), where he held the ROH World Championship and ROH World Tag Team Championship.
Steen also wrestled extensively on the independent circuit for 14 years, most notably in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), where he held the PWG World Championship a record three times, as well as the PWG World Tag Team Championship on three occasions.
Steen also competed for International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS), where he held three times the IWS World Heavyweight Championship, All American Wrestling (AAW), where he held the AAW Heavyweight Championship; and Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), where he held the CZW Iron Man Championship.
He wrestled under the Kevin Owens name in WWE's developmental branch NXT, where he was a one-time NXT Champion, before debuting on the main roster in May 2015. He has since held the Universal Championship once, the Intercontinental Championship twice, and the United States Championship three times.
During a long interview with Sports Illustrated, KO reflected on missing WrestleMania 35: "Missing WrestleMania was such a blow. I don’t think anybody can fault me for saying that. Anybody who misses WrestleMania and isn’t bothered by it probably needs to look at their priorities.
I don’t want to be so arrogant to say it was probably worse for me than it would have been for anybody else, but it was probably worse for me than it would be for anyone else. I’m really obsessed with this. It’s borderline not healthy.
WrestleMania is this thing that I get to share with my family, and this year we didn’t get that moment. And not being on WrestleMania just sucks. But what’s done is done, and it happened for reasons that were beyond my control.
I would say it’s fine, but it’s not fine. It’s not fine with me. No one did anything wrong, but it didn’t sit well with me. I’m doing everything I can to never be left off any show that I feel I should be on ever again.
That’s the attitude I’m going to take. If missing WrestleMania has taught me anything, it’s that I will survive—and I did survive."