While Sami Zayn was defeated by Roman Reigns in his first attempt at capturing the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, he believes the loss could be the start of a longer story.
At the beginning of 2023, Sami Zayn was a full-fledged member of The Bloodline, having finally succeeded in winning round the rest of the faction. However, that all changed when Roman Reigns decided to test his loyalty at the Royal Rumble, demanding he take part in a brutal assault on Kevin Owens. Zayn refused, instead attacking Reigns in an attempt to help his friend.
The betrayal led to Zayn challenging his former Tribal Chief for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title at Elimination Chamber in February. Although the entire Montreal crowd was behind him, Zayn couldn’t overcome both Reigns and interference from The Bloodline and was finally put away after three Spears.
During an appearance on Xfinity, Zayn looked back on the loss, saying it would have been “kind of perfect” if he had won.
“It would have been kind of perfect, a storybook ending, if I had dethroned Roman. Sure, of course, but if you look at more, five years from now, ten years from now, the totality of where it all lies, I think you will see that it is one great chapter, hopefully, in a story.
“For sure, unquestionably, whether it was the right or wrong decision, the way it ended, there is no question that had it gone my way that night in Montreal or at WrestleMania or something with Roman, unquestionably it would have been a moment that would have definitely been replayed many times.
“I still think what we did was very special and as you can see by what has continued to happen with The Usos and Roman, that story still has some special moments. This is one of those things where you just need time to see where it all falls.”
“Maybe it was chapter one” – Sami Zayn
Zayn says if he had ended Reigns’ record-breaking title run, it would have been comparable to Brock Lesnar ending The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak.
“I don’t know if this is a valid comparison, but it’s almost like when Brock [Lesnar] beat Undertaker and ended the streak. It was such a shocking moment that you kind of didn’t know what to make of it.
“I remember watching it live with Juice Robinson. He was so frazzled by it, ‘I need five years to know whether this was the right call or not.’ It’s kind of true. You had to wait several years to see all the consequences and ripple effect of that moment.”
The star remains optimistic that he will still get that moment, reiterating that it could all be part of a “huge story” for him.
“It took five years to see ‘this all goes back to do that.’ Maybe it was chapter one, for me personally, in this huge story that is my quest to one day win the big one.”
In the aftermath of losing against Reigns, Zayn and Owens went on to headline the first night of WrestleMania 39 where they defeated The Usos for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships which they still hold today.
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.