Update On What WWE Had Planned For Sami Zayn At WrestleMania 39
Sami Zayn has become a big star in WWE that is drawing ratings and could lead to changes to plans at WrestleMania 39.
The main event of WWE Elimination Chamber on February 18th will see Roman Reigns defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Sami Zayn, who is a former ally of Reigns as part of The Bloodline group since last summer.
Elimination Chamber, as well as tonight’s Smackdown, both take place in Montreal, which is Sami’s hometown. That should mean that the vocal WWE Universe that has strongly been behind Zayn for months should be as loud as ever in Montreal in support of their hometown hero.
In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted that while there was a plan for Sami Zayn at WrestleMania 39, things could change because of how much of a draw Zayn has become.
“The original plan was for Zayn to lose, Jey Uso to turn on him and the Usos vs. Zayn & Owens at WrestleMania back many months. But a lot has changed since that time.”
“The key is that Zayn has become a major TV ratings mover. Sure, John Cena was for one-time appearances and Bray Wyatt was as well, and Reigns vs. Matt Riddle did a big number, but Zayn is not only moving quarters big, but the entire show. Smackdown is up, with or without Reigns and it’s clear Zayn is the reason why.”
As he continued, Meltzer wrote about how WWE handles Sami Zayn in this spot will be an important booking decision.
“Basically, the crowd badly wants Zayn to win. WWE can script whatever they want, but for that to happen, it would be a late deviation of the script. Or they could have Reigns win, the likely original idea and lead to Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania. Or they could turn WrestleMania into a three-way match with a controversial finish.”
“It’s tricky for a lot of reasons, because Zayn does not fit into the mentality of what a mainstream ratings mover looks like, nor has his booking been what traditionally leads to it. It just happened, and it not handled right, it could end. Maybe it would have ended with a win as well, because the chase is over and maybe it was the build to the angle and chase that were the draws. Either way, this is the first booking decision in a long time that can actually make a difference to full show ratings.”
The story of Jey Uso turning on Sami Zayn in the match against Reigns is a popular theory because it does set up the Zayn-Owens vs. Usos tag team match at WrestleMania that could see Zayn-Owens ending The Usos’ record-long Tag Team Title reign.
Due to Zayn being a rating mover, whether WWE expected it or not, that could lead to some sort of changes to the WrestleMania 39 plan. We will find out this Saturday at Elimination Chamber.