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.
In a recent interview on WWE’s After the Bell, KO discussed his appearance at NXT Takeover: WarGames: “Well, so the first thing — I mean, it’s been a constant throughout the last few years where any time I hear of anybody at NXT getting injured, or for some reason not being able to make a show.
Whether it’s a storyline or not, I always send Triple H the same text, which is ‘Hey, if you need somebody I’m here, hahahaha.’ And you know, we always have that kind of little insider joke. So the same thing happened when I heard Gargano was off Takeover.
I immediately texted him, saying, ‘I hear Johnny’s out, I’m available.’ And then this time, the answer was, ‘Well, that’s actually a possibility, I’m looking into it.’ I was like, ‘Oh, s**t.
All right.’ And then he called me in the middle of my Europe tour a couple weeks ago, and let me know that it was gonna happen”.