Childhood & Early Life
He was born on May 7, 1984 in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, in the Canadian province of Quebec to Terry Steen and Suzanne Steen. He is a mix of French Canadian descent. He has a brother named Edward Lower.
Steen’s first language is French; however he can speak in English. He learned to speak the latter in his teens by watching Monday Night Raw and imitating whatever he heard.
Although he played soccer, hockey and baseball as a child, Steen made up his mind to pursue a career as professional wrestler after he and his father watched a video tape match of WrestleMania XI played between Diesel and Shawn Michaels.
He started his training in wrestling with Serge Jodoin at 14 years of age. At age 15 he came under the tutelage of Jacques Rougeau. He also took training from Terry Taylor and considers the latter as his “main trainer”.
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Wrestling Career Before WWE
His debut wrestling match happened on his 16th birthday on May 7, 2000 in L'Assomption, Quebec. He wrestled with many Canadian promotions following his four years wrestling stint with promotion of Rougeau.
His International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS) debut happened on August 16, 2003 at Born to Bleed. The following year he won his first IWS World Heavyweight Championship defeating El Generico. He became the first holder of the title in the promotion’s history who defended the title internationally. On October 30, 2004 he thrived in defending the title beating Roderick Strong in Rahway, New Jersey for Jersey All Pro Wrestling.
He lost the IWS World Heavyweight Championship on February 16, 2008 against El Generico at Violent Valentine but won it back on March 22, beating Max Boyer and El Generico in a 3-Way Match at Know Your Enemies.
He emerged as the first ever wrestler to hold two IWS titles at the same time when on May 24, 2008, he won the IWS Canadian Championship title beating Max Boyer in a IWS Championship Unification Match held at the Freedom to Fight event.
Meanwhile on September 10, 2004, he made his debut in Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW). In August 2005 he beat Franky The Mobster to clinch the CZW Iron Man Championship title. He lost the title to female wrestler LuFisto in 2006 in a steel cage match at CZW Trapped also participated by Eddie Kingston, The Forefathers of CZW, The Canadians and The Blackout.
Following such loss, he left CZW but returned to the promotion twice, first in February 2008 for a match and then in 2014 for a couple of matches.
Meanwhile he also began wrestling for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) in 2005 and earned the PWG Championship title beating A.J. Styles at Zombies [Shouldn't Run] on August 6 that year. He later lost the title to Joey Ryan at Chanukah Chaos (The C's Are Silent).
On July 29, 2007, Steen teamed up with El Generico to win the PWG World Tag Team Championship against the defending champions PAC and Roderick Strong at Giant Size Annual #4. They later lost it on October 27 that year to Super Dragon and Davey Richards in England during "European Vacation II" tour of PWG.
Steen and El Generico regained the PWG World Tag Team Championship title on March 21, 2008 fighting an impromptu match against the The Dynasty comprising Joey Ryan and Scott Lost.
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The tag team of Steen and El Generico emerged as the first PWG World Tag Team Champions in the history of the promotion to defend the title in every match they faced in the annual Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament (DDT4). The duo lost the title to Jack Evans and Roderick Strong during the tournament that was held on May 17 and 18 in 2008, in Burbank, California marking the second DDT4.
Steen left PWG in 2008 to build his career with Ring of Honor (ROH). On September 19, that year he won the ROH World Tag Team Championship title along with Generico defeating The Age of the Fall at a pay-per-view taping in Boston. The duo lost the title at a television taping held on April 10, 2009 to The American Wolves.
Meanwhile he made a comeback to PWG in 2010 and on July 23, 2011, during the promotion’s eighth anniversary show, Steen defeated Claudio Castagnoli to earn his second PWG World Championship title. He lost the title in a ladder match to El Generico on October 22 that year.
He teamed up with Super Dragon to win his second PWG World Tag Team Championship title on December 10, 2011, beating The Young Bucks in a Guerrilla Warfare match. The duo was however stripped of the title later on May 25, 2012 following Dragon’s heel fracture.
His third PWG World Championship title came on March 17, 2012 fighting against El Generico and Eddie Edwards. He lost it on December 1, 2012 in a Guerrilla Warfare match against Adam Cole.
On May 12, 2012, Steen became the first Canadian wrestler to win the ROH World Championship title beating Davey Richards at Border Wars. He lost it to Jay Briscoe on April 5, 2013 at Supercard of Honor VII. He left ROH in July 2014.
Tenure with WWE
It was announced by WWE on August 12, 2014 that Steen had signed with the American professional wrestling company and was scheduled to report on August 25 to their division NXT. Steen who now adopted the ring name of Kevin Owens, beat Sami Zayn (the former El Generico) on February 11, 2015 at NXT TakeOver: Rival to emerge as the new NXT Champion. He lost the title to Finn Bálor at the WWE Network special, The Beast in the East event held on July 4 that year in Tokyo, Japan.
His main roster debut in Raw happened in May 18, 2015. He beat Ryback at Night of Champions on September 20 that year to clinch the Intercontinental Championship, marking his first main roster singles title win. He lost the title to Dean Ambrose on December 13 that year at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs event.
He won the Intercontinental Championship for the second time on February 15, 2016 in a fatal five-way match against Ambrose, Ziggler, Tyler Breeze and Stardust. He lost it to Zack Ryder at WrestleMania 32 on April 3, 2016, in a seven-way ladder match.
On July 19, 2016, he was drafted to Raw during the tenth WWE draft. On August 29, that year, with some intervention from Triple H, Owens won his first world title in WWE, the Universal Championship in a fatal four-way elimination match against Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Big Cass. He lost it to Goldberg on March 5, 2017, at Fastlane.
He won the United States Championship on April 2, 2017 against Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 33. The 2017 WWE Superstar Shake-up saw him being traded to the SmackDown brand on April 11. He lost the title to Jericho on April 30 that year at Payback.
He went on to win the United States Championship title two more times, second time beating Jericho on the May 2, 2017 SmackDown Live episode later losing it to AJ Styles on July 7 that year; and thereafter regaining it from Styles at Battleground on July 23, 2017. He however lost the title after two days to Styles in a SmackDown triple threat match which also involved Jericho.
He returned to Raw in 2018 after he was awarded a Raw contract by Stephanie McMahon, the on-screen commissioner of Raw.