Recently, Kevin Owens turned on WWE Champion Kofi Kingston on SmackDown Live, setting up a title bout between the pair at the upcoming Money In The Bank pay-per-view (PPV). However, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter, that was not the original plan.
Owens was initially to be the number two babyface on SmackDown Live behind Roman Reigns. However, due to the combination of the rise of Kingston and Daniel Bryan’s injury, that was changed. Originally, Owens was to be a “guy next door” babyface, who ate junk food, has kids, and had the same problems as everyone else – but could still kick ass.
He was also given the ultimate modern-day babyface finisher, the Stone Cold Stunner, which Meltzer added they were at one point testing out with RAW and SmackDown Live Women’s Champion Becky Lynch during house shows. Daniel Bryan was to rematch Kingston for the WWE Title at MITB, but Bryan’s injury forced plans to change.
Initially, WWE contemplated pairing Kingston with Randy Orton, Rowan, or bringing over someone from RAW such as Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin, or Samoa Joe. Shortly after WrestleMania, the decision was made to turn Owens heel.