Sami Zayn was in rare form this week.
He who signed with WWE back in 2013 after finding success on the independent scene under the name El Generico. He alongside former WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens had some great matches while outside of the WWE bubble and in a WWE ring.
While in WWE’s developmental brand, NXT, he had some classic matches and rivalries that involve Neville and Owens. His last match under the NXT banner came last year at NXT Takeover: Dallas when he wrestled Shinsuke Nakamura, which marked Nakamura’s NXT debut.
WWE fans have not forgotten the run of success that the former NXT Champion had as a babyface while NXT. There are many fans out that there that still see great potential in him to be a top guy in WWE.
However, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and the WWE creative team have yet to book him as that up until recently. Rather, he is a mid-card talent that hasn’t resulted in him reaching the top of the ladder just yet while on the main roster.
Since he was called up to the main roster nearly two years, WWE has booked Zayn to be a strong babyface in the mid-card.
However, he has yet to win a single title on the main roster. He also has not been given the chance to get into the main event scene. Online fans continue to defend him and voice their opinion on the fact that WWE needs to book him better. However, it appears that Zayn’s hard work has paid off.
Zayn turned heel at the recent WWE Hell in a Cell PPV (pay-per-view) event by helping Owens defeat Shane McMahon inside the Hell in a Cell structure.
As seen on this week’s episode of SmackDown Live in Cincinnati, OH at the US Bank Arena on the USA Network, Zayn was at ringside for Owen’s match against Shinsuke Nakamura in the main event. He waved during the match then flipped his t-shirt up and down after the match.
WWE sent out the following about the match:
In SmackDown LIVE’s turbulent main event, Shinsuke Nakamura went to battle against Kevin Owens with their respective WWE Clash of Champions tag team partners Randy Orton and Sami Zayn in their corners and General Manager Daniel Bryan joining the SmackDown LIVE announcement team.
When Owens inadvertently knocked the referee to the canvas with a wild right hand, Bryan donned the stripes and jumped into the action as his impromptu replacement. A few wild moments later, when Nakamura turned his attention toward an interfering Zayn on the apron and knocked him to the floor below, Owens capitalized on the distraction by executing the bone-jarring Pop-up Powerbomb on The Artist. Bryan then counted Nakamura’s shoulders to the canvas to give KO a monumental victory.
What do Bryan’s actions reveal about how he will carry himself as the second Special Guest Referee at WWE Clash of Champions? And will Bryan be able to co-exist with SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon, who will also be wearing the stripes?