It seems like a long time ago but Sami Zayn was once one of the most loveable babyfaces in the entire WWE, so much so that he ended up facing John Cena in a US Open Challenge in his hometown. While Zayn would be out for a long time after the match, he left an impression. So much so that when he entered the Royal Rumble Match in 2016, he was met with a large reaction that lead to Sami being a major player in the Intercontinental Championship match at WrestleMania 32.
Going even further back however, is Sami Zayn’s time in NXT and the nickname that he garnered as a loveable babyface in his run to the top of NXT. While he tried and tried again, it took several matches and time for Zayn to realise being a champion in NXT. For many fans, Zayn chasing the title is one of the great stories in WWE in recent years. Zayn would have an incredible rivalry with Adrian Neville, culminating in a match at NXT Takeover Revolution.
While Neville was not a heel at the time, he certainly fit the bill as the heel in this matchup as the NXT Full Sail crowd (and later the WWE RAW crowd) were firmly behind “The Underdog Of The Underground.” Zayn would win the match, which was one of NXT Takeover’s best matches ever, and was then the NXT Champion as the NXT roster celebrated with him… including Kevin Owens.
Fast forward eight years later and Zayn has been a heel for most of his run on the WWE main roster. Turning heel during Kevin Owens’ feud with Shane McMahon in 2017 and has been a weaselly heel ever since. While Sami has been fantastic in the role, having great matches with many and now being a two time Intercontinental Champion, he has stalled as a midcarder. At least, that was under Vince McMahon. Recently, there has been tension between Sami and The Bloodline, in particular Jey Uso. Jey has demanded Sami step up for the faction as the honorary Uce, and Zayn took a claymore for Jey on this weeks SmackDown, but Jey left the ring without helping Sami to the back. It appears that Sami may be about to begin his face turn back to being the face that captured the imagination of fans in NXT.
Now, it is not for certain that Sami will be kicked out of The Bloodline, but that seems to be exactly where this storyline is going. If it were not for Drew McIntyre at WWE Clash At The Castle, many fans would expect Sami to feud with Roman and The Bloodline in the near future – if he turns back face. In a sense, Sami would need a redemption arc due to how long he has been a heel for now in the promotion. It shouldn’t be a case of Sami being laid out by The Bloodline and easily being a babyface, its about Zayn redeeming himself in the eyes of the fans because as a face, his never say die attitude lead to some incredible matches with not just Adrian Neville, but Shinsuke Nakamura and Kevin Owens.
While it is not for certain, it is fun to imagine the possibilities that could come of a storyline as loaded as this one could be. WWE have many options, but Triple H managed to make Sami Zayn a star once and if he would like to, he could do it all over again but this time, leading to a world title match with Roman Reigns. This situation is an interesting one because Triple H has so many options at his disposal to dethrone Roman Reigns. He could decide to take one title off Roman, or both. Drew McIntyre, Karrion Kross and Cody Rhodes are all names that have been speculated in the last few months but with Kross only just returning, McIntyre suffering with a lower back injury and Cody Rhodes not expected back till January-February next year. So this situation could be the long term plan for WWE, especially if the storyline is going the way it is. Sami Zayn would not take a lot to turn back to being a convincing babyface, but if Triple H wants to maximise the reaction, he will want Sami to be thoroughly redeemed before he begins chasing the gold. So… here’s how that could go down.
In the lead up to his match with Drew McIntyre, Roman Reigns will need to make an example of someone as he has threats coming from all directions as Randy Orton, McIntyre, Karrion Kross and many others have a score to settle with The Head Of The Table. So much so that The Bloodline needs more members. We see Sami trying to recruit people Heyman wants him to attempt to, he is turned down again and again. In the main event of a SmackDown episode, have The Bloodline all come out together. Roman asks Sami how it went. Sami explains that no one would listen to him, blames the other talents and Roman calms him down. Roman tells him it was all a test and it didn’t matter as there was already a member of the family to call in. Solo Sikoa comes out and The Usos welcome him in with open arms. Roman turns to Sami and tells him an honorary Uce isn’t needed when you have your real Uce’s. The Usos double superkick Sami, and The Bloodline dismantle Sami with Jey Uso putting Sami through the announce table with an Uso splash. Sami is stretchered out of the arena and is taken off TV. At WWE Clash Of The Castle, a hooded figure takes out The Usos and Solo Sikoa backstage, leading to a true one on one match between McIntyre and Reigns at the event. Reigns manages to retain after targeting McIntyre’s injury and McIntyre gets to take some time off to heal his lower back. The next week on SmackDown, the Draft is announced, requiring the WWE Championship to be brought back to RAW as Roman is forced to vacate the championship. He retains the record setting reign with the Universal Championship and this way, Reigns does not need to lose in order to drop the championship. On the same edition of SmackDown, Roman wants to know who took out his cousins at Clash and calls the person out. In response, Sami Zayn’s former theme song hits and he walks out in his classic gear and look.
From there, there is many ways WWE can go. Sami can remain on SmackDown and feud for the Universal Championship with Roman, losing his first match vs The Tribal Chief. This is key as Zayn needs to be built back up to chase the title rather than winning it in his first title match back as a babyface. Ideally – Sami would cause The Usos to drop the Tag titles or at least one set of titles to free them back up for the rumored upcoming draft. If Cody Rhodes is not ready for the Royal Rumble, Sami Zayn would be an alternative to face and dethrone Roman Reigns after 1000+ days as champion. If he were to be the one to detrone the head of the table, his first feud could be Kevin Owens because truth be told – I don’t think anyone could get tired of those two wrestling each other. Time will tell if this is the way they could go, but it is looking like at the very least Sami will be kicked out of The Bloodline. What WWE decide to do from there is a mystery at this point.
Do you think Sami Zayn has the potential to be a top star in WWE? Let us know in the comments section and on our social media pages.
Follow Corey at @CoreyBrennanBS on Twitter