What's Next for Sami Zayn? | Smark Out Moment

What's Next for Sami Zayn?

Posted by Andy Sahadeo Monday, December 26, 2016
Last Sunday at WWE Roadblock: End of the Line, we saw Sami Zayn defeat Braun Strowman by surviving the 10-minute time limit imposed by Mick Foley. For months following the Draft, our resident Underdog from the Underground has been floundering in midcard hell on Raw. In October, he started a feud with "The Monster Among Men" Braun Strowman in hopes of proving his worth to Raw General Manager Mick Foley. Time and time again, Zayn was continually destroyed by Strowman, leading to strife between Foley and Zayn. After weeks of begging for a rematch, Foley proposed for Zayn to be traded for SmackDown Live's Eva Marie–lighting a fire under Zayn. Zayn's following heartfelt, passionate promo demonstrated that he has the talent to back it up and prove his naysayers wrong. After Zayn's victory (or survival, if you will) at Roadblock, where does the young star go from here?

Sami Zayn WWE Monday Night Raw

1. Entering the United States Championship Scene
I'm not the biggest Roman Reigns fan, but I'm certainly not his biggest detractor, either. It sucks that Reigns is the current U.S. Champion because it's apparent that WWE wants to push him as the next top guy–but with the U.S. Championship around his waist, it kind of upholds the entire midcard who has to contend for this title. Regardless of such, if Reigns drops the title sooner rather than later, it can help rejuvenate Raw's midcard. What better face to represent Raw's midcard than Sami Zayn?

Another stretch would be to have Zayn take the title off of Reigns. Obviously not by pinfall–but a U.S. Title battle royal is long overdue and stacks the odds well against Reigns. This, in turn, makes Reigns look vulnerable and susceptible to defeat rather than being built up as Superman. Fans would eat this up and it would make Reigns' inevitable Universal Title reign even sweeter knowing that he lost big matches along the way. This would also give JeriKO some ammunition for some comedy segments at Reigns' expense. Can you imagine those two just ripping into Reigns for losing?!

WWE Monday Night Raw Roman Reigns Sami Zayn Chris Jericho Sheamus Fatal 4-Way

2. Entering the Cruiserweight Division

With a billed weight of 212 lbs, Sami Zayn could easily cut weight to make it to 205 lbs or less. With his lightning-fast speed, high flying ability and technical prowess, Zayn would be the perfect match for the newly heel Neville in the division. Alongside Neville, Zayn's presence would add a new sense of legitimacy for the division and prove to the naysayers that the Cruiserweights can hang. While it appeared that Zayn and Neville would be a midcard tag team from SummerSlam on out, the team mysteriously dissolved without any explanation. While they didn't achieve tag team success, I think they would make better rivals in the long-term.

The only downside to Zayn entering the Cruiserweight Division is the obvious glass ceiling that it presents. Cruiserweights, as of now, only feud with each other with little or no chance of advancing beyond the division. While Zayn would make a perfect fit in the division, I'd rather not see him get tossed aside in the long-term. I believe that Zayn is World/Universal Champion material, and unless WWE remediates the issue of Cruiserweights only feuding with themselves, Zayn would continue to fall victim to creative mishandling.

WWE Heel Neville Cruiserweight Division 205 Live
"The King of the Cruiserweights" Neville

3. Winning the Royal Rumble

In the past couple years, the Royal Rumble has been marred with unfavorable winners from John Cena, Batista, Roman Reigns and Triple H. It's about time that a midcard Superstar–and more importantly, underdog–wins the Rumble. We haven't seen a legitimate underdog win the Royal Rumble since Rey Mysterio in 2006. With Zayn floating along the card for now, him winning the Rumble presents the ultimate swerve for the WWE Universe. Having him enter at number one and winning the entire thing is quite simply an underdog story that easily writes itself.

It's actually been rumored that Sami Zayn or Bray Wyatt would end up winning this year's Rumble. Either way, both Superstars have been underutilized for quite some time and seeing Wyatt with a title for the first time in 3 years provides some hope knowing that WWE will invest time in its midcard. However, this is only apparent on SmackDown Live, whereas Monday Night Raw seems to be stuck in its old ways of holding potential stars down. Regardless of such, Zayn in a Universal Championship match at WrestleMania is a dream for many. Granted that Kevin Owens holds on to the title until WrestleMania, it would make sense for that rivalry to restart and culminate on the Grandest Stage of Them All. From the days of Steen and Generico beating the hell out of each other in Ring of Honor to Owens and Zayn battling for the Universal Title at the pinnacle of professional wrestling–it would truly be awe-inspiring.

WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Promo Advertisement John Cena Seth Rollins Dean Ambrose AJ Styles Kevin Owens Chris Jericho Bray Wyatt
Courtesy of 411Mania

What do you think? Is Zayn World/Universal Championship material or midcarder at best? Leave your questions and comments below!
THIS POST WRITTEN BY: ANDY SAHADEO

Andy Sahadeo is an aspiring writer and passionate, lifelong wrestling fan. He is a Mass Media Studies major at Hofstra University and current Editorial Writer for the Hofstra Chronicle. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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