Sami Zayn Needs to Become Mr. Money in the Bank | Smark Out Moment

Sami Zayn Needs to Become Mr. Money in the Bank

Posted by Andy Sahadeo Wednesday, June 14, 2017
I distinctly remember the time when the Internet Wrestling Community collectively blew up for one of WWE's biggest acquisitions. In January 2013, news broke out that the beloved El Generico was packing his bags and heading for greener pastures. As El Generico sailed off to Mexico to take care of the orphans, a new star emerged in NXT by the name of Sami Zayn.

Sami Zayn WWE NXT Championship Full Sail University Takeover R Evolution
Sami Zayn holding the NXT Championship
Fans quickly embraced the newcomer with his unique charisma and ska swagger much akin to Sublime's Bradley Nowell. After nearly 2 years of chasing the NXT Championship, Zayn finally achieved his goal at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution––only to get beaten down by the debuting Kevin Owens. This set a dangerous precedent for the Underdog from the Underground––one that follows him till this day.

Throughout his main roster career, Zayn proved to be a big hit with the WWE Universe; however, time and time again, we've seen Zayn continually destroyed at the hands of countless Superstars ranging from Baron Corbin to Kevin Owens to Braun Strowman. Never once has the WWE Universe bared witness to Zayn holding championship gold (barring NXT)––only playing second fiddle and doing the job for those around him. Instead of getting the glorious run of comeuppance as he did in NXT, Zayn finds himself in a position in which he makes other stars look good.

Jinder Mahal Sami Zayn WWE Championship SmackDown Live
Jinder Mahal reigns supreme over Sami Zayn

Once Zayn got pinned by Jinder Mahal in the number one contender's match, many fans were enraged that their beloved former El Generico was reduced to losing to who was once a jobber. Constantly losing match after match, it was hard to imagine a future for Zayn. Ultimately, that loss worked out for the best as WWE actually pulled the trigger on Mahal's title push all while not allowing Zayn to fade away into obscurity. It makes sense what WWE is doing by playing up to Zayn's Underdog from the Underground gimmick, but there comes a point in which WWE must finally pull the trigger. Next Sunday could very well be that moment.

Much like Mankind chasing the WWF World Championship and continually piling up losses, it's easy to see the parallels that WWE continues to draw between Mick Foley and Sami Zayn's respective careers. Both Zayn and Foley have an intrinsic quality that just draws fans into their allure. Be it through their everyman build or their ability to tap into the crowd's emotions and create an empathy not many wrestlers can, both stars possess natural face-like qualities that isn't necessarily contrived for the sake of sports-entertainment. To see this relatable underdog character chasing after the big guns and overcoming the odds is a natural story to tell in professional wrestling––but if the right characters aren't used, then the story is not believable in the eyes of the fans.

That being said, it's no surprise that members of the IWC have begun to turn their back on Sami Zayn. Constantly losing and not having a standout gimmick tends to spell doom for a wrestler––however, given that Sami Zayn was a huge acquisition for WWE, fans still are holding onto hopes of eventual world title glory for the generic one.

El Generico Ring of Honor
Sami Zayn as El Generico

Looking at the other competitors in this year's Money in the Bank match, it seems that Zayn very well has the odds stacked against him. Like last year, this year's match is a star-studded one featuring the likes of AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Shinsuke Nakamura and Zayn's archenemy, Kevin Owens. While all of these Superstars possess World Champion qualities, only one can emerge victorious.

For the past month, Kevin Owens and AJ Styles have been embroiled in a feud over the United States Championship. This definitely puts the two competitors at a disadvantage for winning, as their career trajectories seem to be in the midcard for the near future. In regards to Shinsuke Nakamura––a future World Champion without a doubt––a loss at Money in the Bank could offer him his first loss while not making him look weak in the process due to the severity of this match. This leaves Ziggler, Corbin and Zayn. While Ziggler has tasted World Championship success, it's definitely not his chance to shine in the spotlight right now. After a string of losses (although he did rebound with a win over Styles on SmackDown Live) and a directionless heel turn, victory does not seem to be in the cards for The Showoff at this moment.

This finally leaves Corbin and Zayn, with Corbin currently being rumored to win the Money in the Bank this year. Realistically speaking, Corbin does have the better chance of winning this match as evidenced by his strong booking as of late as well as overall improvement as a wrestler. While Corbin as World Champion does sound enticing, he truly does not need the briefcase to solidify that. A wrestler on a warpath with his imposing presence bodes well for The Lone Wolf's future.

While Zayn does face his stiffest competition from another former NXT alumni in Corbin, Zayn does offer that major underdog factor heading into this match. With mounting losses in big matches (namely his loss to Jinder Mahal in the 5-Way number one contender's match), it becomes hard to imagine that WWE will make Zayn Mr. Money in the Bank. However, due to his continued positive fanfare, there still is some hope that is left.  With the odds stacked against the beloved Zayn, the question that begs to be answered is––will WWE finally pull the trigger? Will Sami Zayn become Mr. Money in the Bank? We'll find out on June 18th!

What do you think? Is Sami Zayn destined to become Mr. Money in the Bank or will WWE make him eat another loss? 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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