One of the greatest moments of 2023 in wrestling took place at the climax of this year’s Royal Rumble event, when Sami Zayn finally betrayed Roman Reigns and the Bloodline.
The angle set up the incredible match in Montreal between Zayn and Reigns, but a lot of fans were hoping it would lead to Zayn colliding with the Tribal Chief in the WrestleMania 39 main event.
While Zayn ultimately did end up main eventing the show alongside Kevin Owens against the Usos, he believes it could have worked as him vs Reigns.
Speaking to Mark Andrews on the My Love Letter To Wrestling podcast, Zayn explained:
“There was a time period going from Survivor Series building into the Rumble and especially right before and right after the Rumble. I 100% thought it could go to me and Roman at Mania and it would be the best story, but that just wasn’t in the cards. We talk about plans, and it’s very hard to have a plan and stick with it, there are all these other variables. A variable pops up, which is Cody’s return. It was a good thing. There was no rejection, he was widely accepted, and they wanted him and they wanted him in the role he came back in. They were happy to see him win the Rumble, they wanted him to dethrone Roman Reigns.
“The stories even rubbed up on each other, where Cody rubbed up on us, we rubbed up on him, and the whole thing was helping each other. Everybody was lifting everybody. That’s when wrestling is done right. Everyone is elevating one another. Obviously, Roman Reigns is the biggest star, but when you put me in there, because it adds a new layer, even if it’s not something you could say out loud, ‘Sami Zayn could elevate the Bloodline’ because they are a top act. I gave it a new dimension. I helped them, but they helped me immensely at that point.
“Me interacting with the Bloodline and Roman brought my stock up so much. It was a case of the tide rising for everybody. When Cody came back, it was the same thing. He’s a huge a star, I was rubbing up with him. The tide was going up for everybody. That’s what made that eight – nine month period exciting. It was fun to watch the whole tide rise for everybody involved.”
Sami and Reigns’ paths will cross again at Night of Champions, when Zayn and Owens defend the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship against Reigns and Solo Sikoa.
Here are results from the May 15 episode of WWE Raw:
Shinsuke Nakamura def. The Miz
It was announced Liv Morgan had suffered an injury and the scheduled Women’s Tag Team Championship match was cancelled
Mustafa Ali won a battle royal to become #1 contender for Gunther’s Intercontinental Championship at Night of Champions
Becky Lynch returned and cut a promo on Trish Stratus, challenging her to a match at Night of Champions
Dominik Mysterio def. Xavier Woods
As JD McDonagh left the arena after an interview, there was a tease of Finn Balor scouting him to recruit him for Judgment Day
Indus Sher (Sanga & Veer) def. two jobbers
Cody Rhodes promo on Brock Lesnar ahead of their Night of Champions match
Raquel Rodriguez def. Chelsea Green
Judgment Day (Finn Balor & Damian Priest) def. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn after interference from Imperium, which had been instigated by Paul Heyman doing deals with Judgment Day and Imperium earlier in the night
transcription via Fightful
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