The Importance of The Payoff

The story of The Bloodline and Sami Zayn is considered by many one of the best stories ever told by WWE and overall, in pro-wrestling. While this story has strong arguments to be considered one of the best in wrestling, there is something holding it back, the payoff. It doesn’t matter what medium you are in, wrestling, movies or books, the payoff is probably the most important part, and this story may not deliver on that department.

The payoff in a medium like pro-wrestling is important because a bad payoff can ruin a good story and fans will never forget it. Imagine if Bryan Danielson’s story of the yes movement ended up with him winning the Intercontinental championship instead of the world title like it happened; People would’ve been angry considered they would’ve botched the payoff to such a hot story. Wrestling bookers are always at risk of botching payoffs, if they don’t listen to the crowd and are open to changing plans.

The story of Sami Zayn and The Bloodline will not have the payoff most fans wanted, with Sami Zayn beating Roman Reigns and becoming WWE champion. The payoff of the story is heading towards the tag team titles. It’s a payoff but an underwhelming one considering the time invested and how over the story and Sami Zayn as the most over babyface in WWE and probably in all pro-wrestling.

Fans of the storyline will tell that the tag team titles are not a bad payoff for this story, and while this is a valid argument it ignores the state the tag team division has been for a long time in WWE. While this story will help somewhat give importance to the titles, it would only be a temporary thing and not a long-term fix to the state of the tag team division in WWE. No disrespect to the tag team championships, but this is a major downgrade for Sami Zayn and how the story has been developing since day one.

One of the things WWE has their advantage is time. WWE still has time to change their plans but it feels unlikely. This is Paul Levesque’s first WrestleMania as head booker of the main roster of WWE and he won’t take risks, and for him, adding Sami Zayn to the Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns match feels like a risk. This is a weird thinking considering tickets are already sold for WrestleMania and the fact how over Sami Zayn is right now. Adding Sami to the match and maybe even winning would actually be the right booking decision.

As mentioned before, the payoff is probably the most important part of a storyline and the choice of WWE and Levesque of paying off their hottest story with the tag team titles is underwhelming and the wrong choice. Sami being just a transitional feud before WrestleMania for Roman Reigns faces Cody Rhodes feels like a major blow. Only time will tell if WWE decides to pivot or keep going forward with their plans.