As I was watching Raw last night, during the interactions between Sami Zayn, the Usos and Kevin Owens, I realized that Zayn was constantly my favorite thing about any show he's been on for at least the last year. Sami Zayn is at an absolute apex with his rebellious, conspiratorial character at the moment.
What started as a guy who kept complaining about being "screwed" out of the Intercontinental Title, has somehow transitioned into Zayn being thrust into the main program on Smackdown and Raw as the "honorary Uce" of the Bloodline, which is undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and the undisputed WWE tag team champions, Jimmy & Jey Uso. The story went that Zayn helped the trio out a few months ago, so he positioned himself as a group member. It's only recently that Jimmy Uso opened up to him and the tribal chief, Roman Reigns, finds his antics entertaining, and Zayn is finally starting to feel optimistic and accepted. He even came out with the Usos on Raw last night, and Sami dancing to the Usos theme is just pure comedy gold.
But Zayn's longtime frenemy, Kevin Owens, sees right through The Bloodline and tells Sami they are going to dump him like yesterday's news. While you can see in Sami's face that he acknowledges this is something he himself has thought about, he denies it and further plants his feet in the sand. The whole segment was masterful:
This moment, in particular, is what cemented Sami as the MVP of WWE to me:
Kevin and Jey end up having a match, and towards the end, Zayn was instructed to grab a chair and hit Kevin Owens. But he just can't bring himself to do it, and it costs Jey the match. So well done:
Zayn has been incredible in his role, regularly getting the guy he's on-screen with the break character just by how absurd he's playing the character of the fool.
Zayn has delivered in any segment WWE put him in. Earlier in the year, he had what I consider (and I am not being sarcastic) one of my favorite WrestleMania matches ever, when he wrestled Jackass' Johnny Knoxville. It was pure sports entertainment and I was very sports entertained!
Zayn always gives it his all, no matter what storylines you put him in and for that I tip my hat to him.
I will have my full Clash at the Castle predictions later in the week, but I can see Sami costing Roman the championship against Drew McIntyre, and getting attacked by the Bloodline on Raw, only to be saved by Kevin Owens. Imagine getting a Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Usos feud? Yes, please!
What else happened on Raw?
- Kurt Angle came back and while his segment shushing with Chad Gable left a bit to be desired, it was very fun to see him and Edge reunited backstage.
- In a stunning finish to the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship tournament, Raquel Rodriguez & Aliyah defeated Dakota Kai & IYO SKY to win the titles.
- Seth Rollins took things a bit too far in his promo battle with Matt Riddle, and I'm looking forward to the match on Saturday.
- The Miz keeps sorta running into Dexter Lumis.
- Kurt Angle and the Street Profits had a milk party!
This Week on TV
Here's what's on NXT tonight at 8pm eastern time on USA Network:
- Apollo Crews vs. Grayson Waller
- Josh Briggs, Brooks Jensen & Fallon Henley vs. Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) & Lash Legend
- Diamond Mine (Brutus Creed, Julius Creed & Damon Kemp) vs. Gallus (Mark Coffey, Joe Coffey & Wolfgang)
- Katana Chance & Kayden Carter vs. Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley
It's the final AEW Dynamite before AEW All Out tomorrow at 8pm eastern on TBS:
- Jon Moxley promo
- Bryan Danielson vs. Jake Hager
- Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter vs. Toni Storm & Hikaru Shida
- Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks vs. Will Ospreay and Aussie Open in the AEW Trios Tag Title Tournament semifinals
IMPACT Wrestling is on AXS TV Thursday at 8pm:
- Impact Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers vs. The OGK
- Impact X-Division Champion Mike Bailey vs. Kenny King
- Deonna Purrazzo vs. Masha Slamovich Knockouts title no. 1 contender's match
- Mickie James an announcement
- BTI: Bullet Club vs. Exodus & JD Griffey
Friday's Smackdown has already been taped since the crew will be in Cardiff for the Clash at the Castle show on Saturday. You can read spoilers here. Here are the matches:
- Roman Reigns two year World Champion celebration
- Will Ronda Rousey be suspended?
- Karrion Kross's SmackDown in-ring debut
- Viking Rules match: The New Day vs. The Viking Raiders
- Butch vs. Ludwig Kaiser
- Maximum Male Models vs. Hit Row
AEW Rampage is the final show before AEW All Out on Sunday. It airs Friday at 10pm on TNT. Only one match is announced so far.
- Dark Order's John Silver, Alex Reynolds & 10 vs. Best Friends' Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta & Chuck Taylor
I will be doing an in-depth preview of Clash at the Castle and All Out later this week. For now, check out last night's Knotfest Wrestling live stream with hosts Alicia Atout, Colin Young, and Jordan Olds. for predictions:
More Wrestling News from the Internet
Fightful Select reports that WWE writers have discussed a potential return for Braun Strowman. His name has been thrown around but nothing has been locked in yet.
Austin Theory and Matt Riddle both got their first names back, officially.
Sasha Banks and Naomi have been officially added back to the main roster. Expect their return imminently.
The former Velveteen Dream in WWE NXT was arrested on Friday, August 26 in Orlando, FL, and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. While I initially assumed he was picked up with a marijuana pipe, turns out its a pleaded-down charge from a previous arrest where Dream was caught with 0.1 grams (barely any) cocaine. More details here.
Samoa Joe hasn't been on AEW or ROH TV much in recent months because he booked a gig playing the role of "Sweet Tooth" in Peacock the live-action adaptation of popular video game Twisted Metal. He won't be voicing the character, the voice will be that of Will Arnette. The show has wrapped up filming, so Joe should be returning soon.
Wardlow finally discussed his controversial match with MJF at AEW Double or Nothing in a recent interview with Digital Spy. He said "Everything that was going on with Max at the time and then in my life personally…just nothing was going right and it's kind of sad that everything built up to this big night and there was so much that ruined it," he said, "All the crap with Max and everything he was pulling." He added after winning, he "really didn't ever have the opportunity to enjoy it." He added "I feel like ever since that night (DoN), things have kind of been just off and I feel like I'm still trying to get back on track ever since that night and we'll get there," he said. "But it is what it is, in this in life and in this business, not everything goes perfectly."
In a recent interview with DDP Snakepit podcast, Darby Allin revealed he had to talk Sting into doing live matches after their cinematic match "When he first got to AEW he originally signed on for just cinematic matches," Allin said. "So, he signed up for cinematic matches and then we were training at his house down in Texas because he had a ring down there. I just straight up said to him, 'Man, we don't need to do cinematic matches, let's do this live.' And then I kind of convinced him to think about it. There's nothing we have to hide here with your performance."
There was some unnecessary drama when it was revealed that FTR will not be in the initial roster of the highly anticipated new AEW video game, Fight Forever. Turns out there's a reason for it and there is no heat from FTR over it. Mike Straw reports "there were some issues with move set captures and animations. This has caused changes to game's launch roster which includes FTR."
Renee Paquette, formerly known as Renee Young in WWE, returned to WWE to tape some segments for next season of WWE Rivals.