WWE news, rumors: Kevin Owens slated for NXT return as brand transitions to USA Network


Kevin Owens was storyline fired by Shane McMahon last Tuesday night to close out SmackDown Live, and immediately after the show concluded, Owens took to Twitter to send out one simple tweet: "14-24-20." It didn't take everyone long to figure out that when you correlate those numbers to the alphabet you get: NXT. With NXT's impending move to the USA Network, it's been speculated that Owens could make an appearance on the Sept. 18 debut episode on USA, at the very least, and that may indeed be the case after all. 

PWInsider is reporting the move as expected, and during a media call Monday, NXT godfather Paul "Triple H" Levesque said he'd "love" to have Owens back on the brand. Triple H also said fans should no longer see moving between Raw, SmackDown and NXT as being called up or sent down, rather as lateral moves across WWE's three premier brands.

Owens is a former NXT champion, and WWE may like the idea of having a staple of Raw and SmackDown over the past few years as a surprise addition as NXT arrives on USA Network in a two-hour live format. 

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As also noted by PWInsider, Owens is still listed on promotional materials as appearing on the Nov. 15 SmackDown event. Whether that material had been created prior to the rumored decision to have Owens appear on NXT or if it means Owens' stint on the brand is to be short-lived -- especially with the Raw and SmackDown draft starting Oct. 11 -- remains to be seen.

More WWE news, rumors

  • According to a report at Fightful, Jeff Hardy's WWE contract has been extended "at least" an additional year due to time on the shelf following injuries. Matt Hardy's contract appears up in March, according to the report, but the Hardys taking their act to the independents -- or to AEW -- as a tag team will not be happening in the near future.
  • On the heels of alleged altercations at last weekend's WrestlePro event honoring WWE producer Pat Buck, former WWE superstar Big Cass has released a statement regarding the incidents. Cass claims his erratic behavior at the show and subsequent physical altercation was the result of his ongoing struggles with mental health and promised to seek professional help. "On Saturday night, I obviously let my demons get the better of me and I ruined an important night for a really great guy in an unfortunate series of events," the statement read. "I have worked incredibly hard to get where I am, and even harder to overcome my ongoing battle with depression. But I will work my absolute hardest to right the wrongs of Saturday night and apologize to Kevin Matthews, Pat Buck, Joey Janela, the entire WrestlePro locker room and all parties involved from the bottom of my heart. I'm getting help from family and friends as we speak and will be getting professional help in the near future and ask all to please respect my privacy in the meantime."
  • WWE.com is advertising a six-man tag match between The New Day and Randy Orton & The Revival for Tuesday night's SmackDown Live. No other matches are announced, but Baron Corbin's coronation as King of the Ring, an Erick Rowan interview, Shane McMahon addressing the Owens situation and Bayley dealing with the fallout of her cheap win over Charlotte Flair are all advertised for the show.
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