Why WWE Might View Sami Zayn Differently Than Other Unexpected Rising Stars In The Past

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The rise of Sami Zayn to the top of WWE is different than some of the other guys that got really hot during WrestleMania season.

Since the summer of 2022, Sami Zayn has been aligned with The Bloodline group heavily by proving his loyalty to them on several occasions. Jey Uso was hesitant to accept him for several months until after the WarGames match at Survivor Series when Zayn proved himself again. Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa appeared to be loyal to Zayn as well.

As for “The Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion appeared to be trusting for the most part although he also had doubts that the “Special Counsel” Paul Heyman during the Trial of Sami Zayn before the Royal Rumble.

At the Royal Rumble, Zayn refused to further attack his best friend Kevin Owens, who was already beaten and handcuffed to the ropes by The Bloodline. That led to Zayn getting beating up by Reigns, Jimmy & Solo while Jey walked away without attacking his friend Sami.

All of this has led to Zayn challenging Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at Elimination Chamber this Saturday in Montreal.

In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer wrote that what’s different between Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan’s rise in 2014 as well as Kofi Kingston’s rise in 2019 is that Zayn’s presence on television is leading to ratings going up on a consistent basis.

“A huge key aspect of this is also it’s the first time Paul Levesque has ever been put in this position. Vince McMahon was many times, and his usual reaction was to change Mania and give people what they wanted short-term, with full belief that it was just doing that and not being committed to the change. He’d do the belt change, but still go with the idea that the champion can’t be the top star no matter how the crowd reacts, because he knows best.”

“But the difference between this and Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston, who both came out of Mania as champions but the plan was to take it from them at SummerSlam and put them back in the position ‘they should’ be in, is that Zayn in and actual numbers mover. There was not that evidence with Bryan and Kingston, which actually makes him more attractive.”

Whether Sami Zayn being a “numbers mover” leads to WWE changing whatever plans they had is unknown. We’ll find out more at Saturday’s Elimination Chamber Premium Live Event.

You can watch WWE Elimination Chamber, streaming live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Saturday, February 18, on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.