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#IndieWeekend: A Look at the History of Steenerico (Part 2)

(Note: This is the second part of our look at the history between Kevin Steen and El Generico. If you missed it, you can read Part 1 here.)

The Steenalizer Strikes Back

El Generico had conquered his rival Kevin Steen thrice now, with one of those matches resulting in the latter's expulsion from Ring of Honor. In reality, Steen had some contract disputes with ROH, which explained the time away. He would return to ROH in June of 2011, embroiled in a storyline that saw him go against ROH's authority figure Jim Cornette. Steen would "earn" back his contract when he defeated former partner Steve Corino later that year. Generico, meanwhile, had his hands full as he dealt with the House of Truth.

It would not be until March 2012 that the two bitter rivals would once again meet, at ROH's Showdown in the Sun. This time, Steen got the win against El Generico in a Last Man Standing Match, thanks to some last-minute help from Jimmy Jacobs.

This would be the last we saw of El Generico for a while, as he disappeared after this match.


Ang Huling El Bimbo

With his nemesis finally gone, Steen now focused his sights on winning the ROH World Championship. He defeated Davey Richards at Border Wars in May 2012 to win the belt, and immediately formed a stable with Corino and Jacobs. As S.C.U.M., Steen continued his war against ROH and Jim Cornette, successfully defending his championship against the likes of Jay Lethal, Eddi Kingston and Michael Elgin. Following his victory over Elgin at Glory By Honor XI, Steen received a package. What he found inside would shake him to his very core.

Photo taken from Slam! Sports

The message was sent, and thus one more match was made. At Final Battle 2012 (seriously, how many times have they fought in this PPV?), Steen defended his title against a returning El Generico in a Ladder War.

This was it, their final dance. For one final time in ROH, Steen and Generico went at it again. Blow by blow, each man matched the other in a brutal, vicious match. Steen wanted to prove that he had finally gotten over his previous defeats to his former partner, while El Generico sought his first reign as ROH World Champion, trying to overcome a Steen-sized hurdle.

Photo taken from Pro Wrestling Truth

In the end, after an amazing match, Steen finally put El Generico away with one more piledriver, putting an end to his career with ROH.

Back in PWG, the two rivals had an uneasy reunion, being paired together at PWG's DDT4  tag team tournament. This was the first time Steen and Generico teamed up in 4 years, and the tension between them still lingered. Both men, however, made it to the finals, where they faced former rivals the Young Bucks once again.

In the end, the Young Bucks once again scored a surprise pinfall, leaving Steenerico crestfallen. As the two lingered in the ring, Generico offered his partner a handshake. Steen, who found it difficult throughout the tournament tagging with his rival, seemed to brush it off as he headed to the back. He changed course quickly, though, leading to one of the most heartfelt moments in wrestling:

Photo taken from WrestlingSucks

This was also a farewell tour for Generico, who would soon announce that he had to return to Tijuana and manage his orphanage. Thus ends one of the most storied rivalries in wrestling history, and one that will be talked about for years to come.

Wait, what? You say there's a next (or, heh, NXT) chapter? No, there isn't. El Generico is living a happy life tending to the orphans in Tijuana, far and away from wrestling. Yeah, that Sami Zayn guy looks oddly like him, but he doesn't have a mask, for one. Also, no one would be caught dead naming themselves after someone from One Direction.

Just kidding. (Not about the One Direction part.)


Full Sail to the NXT Chapter

Now billed as Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, the two have taken their rivalry to the WWE. There's already been a lot said about this storyline, so we won't dig into this too much. Zayn and Owens have, however, brought the intensity from their storied history and ROH and PWG here, and have already delivered some memorable moments.

And that brings us to where things are today. Owens is currently enjoying himself on the WWE's main roster, coming off a feud with the top dog of the WWE, John Cena. Zayn, unfortunately, is currently tending to injuries and will not be back for quite a while. However, once he returns, expect him to go after his rival once again. This time, it's his turn to make the pursuit.

As we close our look at this historical rivalry, there is a quote that I feel embodies a very good element of the rivalry these two men have had:

"And either must die at the hand of the other,
for neither can live while the other survives."
- Sybill Trelawney, from the Harry Potter series

Think about it. Both men have had their biggest moments when the other has been out of action. Steen was ROH World Champion at a time when the masked luchador was out. El Generico was PWG's top dog at around the same time when Steen wasn't really around. Even in their WWE careers, the same holds true. Sami Zayn became NXT's biggest star, but was chopped down immediately when Kevin Owens made his debut. Now, Owens is the one getting matches with John Cena, while Zayn on the shelf. They've lived out great moments at the expense of the other, it seems, which makes it all the more exciting when Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens come face to face once more.

And why shouldn't they? After all, they're destined to do this forever.


Anthony Cuello (@cindacuellois an HR professional and training designer. When he’s not sleeping or reading the Harvard Business Review, he covers NJPW and Lucha Underground for Smark Henry. A psychology nut, he tends to watch wrestling looking for these small nuances of in-ring behavior. He dreams of a wrestling business with good people management practices, and hopes to help make that happen one day.

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