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Incessant Whining & Complaining - A Pain in the Uce, or the Ace within the Whole Entire Bloodline?

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  • Incessant Whining & Complaining - A Pain in the Uce, or the Ace within the Whole Entire Bloodline?

    Incessant Whining & Complaining

    A Pain in the Uce, or the Ace within the Whole Entire Bloodline?

    I became a fan of Sami’s upon watching his instant classic with Cesaro at the inaugural yet separately labeled TakeOver special. How could you not take a shine to the quirky underdog during his pursuit of the NXT Title in 2014? This chronic bandwagoner found himself uber invested in Zayn’s friendship-turned-feuds with the likes of Neville and Kevin Owens. He not only impressed with a helluva skill set, but delivered some great character work to boot, which I thought would serve him well on the main roster. I’d love to sit here and lie to you by saying I knew Sami was destined to end up in the position he’s currently in, but let’s be honest… the majority of these indie stars were swimming against the tide once they left the safe confines of Full Sail for RAW and SmackDown. And I swore Zayn was dead in the water after his program with Lashley sank him to head pounding new lows.

    Conversely though, Sami became one of the few NXT guys who really benefited from the empty arena era. He won over Vince in the process with his adaptability, which included making the most of the Conspiracy Theorist gimmick that served as a catapult of sorts. Say what you will about the use of celebrities in WWE, but Zayn’s whacky car wreck with Johnny Knoxville at this year’s WrestleMania felt like a reward more than anything else (and Sami killed it again in that spot). He managed to build equity with the boss, which is what ultimately landed Zayn his airtime rubbing elbows with The Bloodline. A move that added a new layer to Roman’s never-ending title reign, but also a situation you place Sami in with tempered expectations and see where it goes. The plot twist could’ve just as easily flopped and been scrapped completely. Zayn however worked his ass off, turned the oddball pairing into a successful recipe and here we are five months later with it gaining steam week after week.

    It’s been such a crowd pleaser that many fans have gone from sighing while they wait for The Rock to return and challenge Roman’s place at the table to feeling like maybe Sami could be the one to finally unseat Reigns. And I’m without a doubt one of those people rooting for Zayn to do the unthinkable next April. There are multiple theories being tossed around, yet lost in all this is the impending cash-in of 2022’s Mr. Money in the Bank. Probably because the only thing fitting about Austin Theory’s guaranteed title shot is how brief his case is of actually striking gold when it counts.

    Given the pulse currently coursing through The Bloodline’s story arc, I pray the end goal for WrestleMania has deviated from Rocky versus Roman. If Vince was still autocorrecting scripts, I’m sure that matchup would be set in stone and they’d receive an ungodly amount of time to close out the broadcast. The WWE Universal Championship would be up for grabs too in another boneheaded decision by an old man with so much testosterone that it’s screwed up his legacy beyond just the gorilla position. Big picture wise, Rock/Reigns would do nobody any favors except further fatten the company’s bank account. Yes I realize WWE is a money hungry business, but doing business the right way inside the ring as well as the locker room should be of equal importance now that the culture is shifting gears. Personally, I would rather see the contractually limited Johnson skip WM39 altogether if it enables this Roman/Sami marathon to go the distance and cross the finish line at 'Mania. It certainly has the legs to, and I miss the days of an angle that began 7-10 months earlier stretching its way to the payoff of all paydays.

    The event has become much less a staple of creating new stars, and much more a stage for nose diving into the nostalgia acts of yesteryear. Booking Sami Zayn to poison The Bloodline and dethrone Reigns would go a long way in redirecting the natural course of things within WWE's infrastructure. And while it may not be on the same page as 2013-14 Daniel Bryan, Sami’s gradual rise in status and popularity is about as close as we’re going to get in this day and age.

    Under a Triple H led regime, I think the chances of the Honorary Uce knocking Reigns off his pedestal increase dramatically. The Game clearly has his own vision for the direction of the company and, based on what we witnessed him do with the original NXT, Hunter is much more apt to call upon his handpicked playmakers to up their game and feature them at next year’s WrestleMania, rather than rely on a handful of old timers riding the bench. That to me is one of the biggest and most important fundamental differences between the Granddaddy of McMahons and Papa H.

    Of the guys who haven’t since left for AEW, I think Finn Balor, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are the three names tied to NXT that Hunter has invested the most in over the past 8 years, and therefore possess the highest ceilings to succeed in present day WWE. And while the other two stars continue to gain their edge back, Sami arguably finds himself the current mouthpiece of the most dominant faction in recent history.

    As iconic as he is/was, The Rock hasn’t worked a marquee main event match in nearly a decade. You’ve gotta wonder about ring rust, right? I’m sure he would train like a madman in preparation for such an event if the stars were to align, but does Johnson even have the urge to wrestle again? The love and loyalty is always there, but pro wrestling is no longer Rocky’s universe. What would be the benefit of Black Adam doing the job for Roman? At this point it should be Reigns elevating the lesser star; not the other way around. In my eyes, the better long term move is giving the fans what they want at WM39 which is partly The Rock, but I would minimize his role the evening of. Book a backstage segment where Johnson runs into The Bloodline and tries to give them props, then ends up getting disrespected by Roman. Later during the main event of Zayn/Reigns, shenanigans ensue, the odds are stacked against Sami, Rocky runs in to lay the smack down on Roman, Zayn capitalizes and a new WWE Universal Champion is crowned. For my money, that scenario checks a lot of boxes and makes total sense.

    There’s also another pawn on the chessboard now which complicates matters. Solo Sikoa’s emergence since Clash at the Castle is ironic in the sense that he showed up to strengthen The Bloodline, but I suspect his inclusion signals the beginning of the end for said group. Why? Because you’ve already built this unstoppable force over the past two years that’s shown no signs of slowing down, and then you add both an ally in Sami as well as a family member in Sikoa? Nobody could touch the stable beforehand, something's gotta give and - as is often the case - with greater numbers comes eventual dissension. I believe we’ll see the cracks form within The Bloodline between Survivor Series and ‘Mania until it seemingly blows up in Roman’s face down the stretch. Perhaps Zayn’s micromanaging alienates himself and Solo from the others, and it leads to a scenario where they face The Usos for the Tag Titles and shockingly capture the belts. Later on, a rematch takes place where Reigns oversees that order is restored and Jimmy & Jey reclaim their gold. The Bloodline remains intact but now there’s major friction between them. Then comes the Royal Rumble match which Sami enters and somehow wins, and now things get really interesting the rest of the way. That’s just an example from an armchair booker but the possibilities are certainly intriguing.

    Regardless of how things play out on-screen, what I love is that this story has given me a reason to tune in again. I’ll casually watch AEW, but this is the first instance in years where I’ve been genuinely interested in catching SmackDown every week to see how an angle evolves. Whether by design or sheer luck, Zayn’s dealings with The Bloodline have been one of the few constants throughout a summer rife with corporate scandal and position changes. Speaking of which, why Vince didn’t just move into the Playboy Mansion and become the next Hugh Hefner once he passed is beyond me. Hugely blown opportunity there but I digress.

    Despite his wandering eye in recent times, Mr. McMahon saw something in Sami; an intangible quality Triple H noticed ages ago. Zayn’s a textbook blueprint of a wrestler who got over originally as a fan favorite, then transitioned into an annoying heel and conditioned crowds to hate him so well that now they adore the Honorary Uce. And when WWE flips the switch, it’ll thrust Sami into another stratosphere who already has fans rallying around his current trajectory. Better yet, the addition of Zayn now offers a storybook ending to this extremely lengthy Tribal Chief chapter that most assuredly had neither a definitive nor satisfying conclusion when it first began. Creative literally dragged this saga out long enough to step in shit and arrive at the best possible outcome given the circumstances. An organic groundswell of momentum and the unlikeliest of heroes set to collapse Roman’s growing empire. Sami has breathed new life into The Bloodline, added another wrinkle to their extended run and even has them visibly cracking up and breaking character on a regular basis. Reigns & Co. were so damn stoic and serious all the time. Much like with a horror flick or superhero film, you’ve gotta interject a bit of comedy and lightheartedness which is where Zayn has really shined as of late.

    The Bloodline’s out there clearly having fun and thriving, which just goes to show the whole thing is working and heading in the right direction. Hopefully that’s Sami ending Roman’s 384,092,567 day reign as champion, and not being booked the lovable loser come WrestleMania weekend. The Honorary Uce has some huge obstacles to push through in the coming months, but I say let him keep rolling that boulder uphill and The Rock can fuck right off.


  • #2
    Skitzoid!! Huge pop to see you swing through these parts. I'm only peripherally aware of what's going on with Sami and the Bloodline, but Sami has been a huge favorite of mine for years and years. If Hunter really does pull the trigger on Zayn over Roman, I'll take back, like maybe 10% of the bad things I've said about him over the years. And you are damn right, the Rock can fuck right off!

    The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!


    • #3
      I'd never have thought we'd reach this point of the storyline when you think about how it all started. I thought it was a minor storyline, something of a side quest so to speak, but it has evolved into the main story to the point where many on the IWC want Sami to be the one to dethrone Roman Reigns. I can't honestly say that Sami's chances are good at dethroning Reigns. hell, I'm not even sure I'd buy him as a champion. However, he has put his heart and soul into this story and the fans are fully on board. In fact, I think he adds a great element to the Bloodline and he came at a time when a freshen up was needed for the Bloodline so kudos to him. I'll be patiently waiting for the outcome of this story, one of my favourites of the past few years, hopefully with it culminating in Sami becoming a made man. Only time will tell.

      Glad to see you pop up, Skitz!​


      • #4
        A wild Skitz appears! He uses smarm and irreverence! It's super effective! Sorry, I've gotten REALLY into Pokemon Go over the last year...

        I love Sami. Like you, I have since the NXT days. I think you hit the nail on the head with the observation about how the conspiracy character and his ability to be comedic made him way more valuable in Vince's eyes. With Hunter at the helm, and the hot AF Bloodline angle, it really does seem like the perfect time to match wrestler, character, and storyline into a magical moment. Unfortunately, I've been burned too many times before. If there's a gigantic, big money, headline grabbing match to be had at Wrestlemania, it's always going to be my expectation that WWE will go for that over a well-crafted story featuring a fan favorite who isn't already a mega-star. The Rock's age honestly might work against Sami here - if this is Rock's last good chance to headline a Mania and work with Roman, the argument might get made that they can wait for Summerslam or Wrestlemania 40 for a big moment for Sami.

        Thanks for posting and trying to inject some life in this place, and thanks for letting me know you had, because, well... yeah, I don't exactly frequent the place much myself anymore these days. I've been watching a decent amount of AEW, and I'm trying to catch the PPVs of WWE. Only so many hours in the day, unfortunately.


        • #5
          Mizfit ~ Hahaha I had a feeling you'd agree with me as far as Sami's coming out party and The Rock's potential involvement. The story kind of gives me 2014 vibes with Bryan chasing Orton, and then Batista returning to get in the way of all the organic goodness going on. Why must there always be some wrestler turned actor resurfacing to interject an unnecessary plot twist? Zayn has been the MVP of SmackDown (and WWE in general) for the last couple months, and they might not get another lightning in a bottle moment like this again with Sami. I think you strike now while the iron is hot, and reward a guy who has done everything asked of him and more. I don't even care if Zayn wins the title at Mania and drops it 3 months later!

          Don ~ I love how you come in with the reality check about how slim Sami's chances are of pulling off what I'm proposing haha. You're right of course. Of all the possible opponents for Roman come WrestleMania 39, Sami may in fact be the longest of longshots (although I have seen people suggesting it be Jey Uso which is preposterous). Zayn did wonders for this whole Bloodline saga which I feel had grown increasingly stale throughout the year. Nobody was gonna come along and dethrone Reigns, so having another heel buddy up to the stable and not only win them over but the fans as well worked perfectly. I also never imagined this is where the storyline would lead when Sami first started kissing Roman's ass. This angle has legs... we'll see how well Creative uses them.

          Mavsy ~ Pokémon Go??? I was going to make a joke about you still being a teenager, but then remembered that there's probably more adults playing it than kids these days. Part of me tries to keep my expectations in check for the very reasons you pointed out in your feedback. If it wasn't for Vince stepping down this summer, I'd feel like Roman/Reigns was a foregone conclusion to main event Mania no matter what's going on week-to-week right now. Hunter taking over gives me hope since he has a better read on what's a crowd pleaser (coupled with the fact that Sami is a Triple H guy). I also feel like The Rock puts so much on his plate with movies and various business ventures that there's so little time to build a WrestleMania match with Roman. Dwayne Johnson is the busiest man alive I swear. Does wrestling even fit into his schedule anymore?