Sami Zayn Got An All-Time Crowd Reaction, And Now Fans Are Questioning If He'll Beat Roman Reigns

Sami Zayn addresses the crowd in Montreal on Smackdown.
(Image credit: WWE)

Sami Zayn is set to square off against Roman Reigns at Elimination Chamber on Saturday night. Fans have long been excited for the match, as it's a major next step for the Bloodline story arc, but for an overwhelming majority, there was never any real expectation the underdog would win. Zayn might be one of the hottest wrestling characters in awhile, but he's less than a year removed from doing a (delightful) comedy match with Johnny Knoxville at WrestleMania 38. He couldn't possibly be the one to end the more than two year run of Roman Reigns, right?

Well, not so fast, at least according to one WWE crowd. Friday's Smackdown, as well as Saturday's Elimination Chamber, both take place in Sami Zayn's hometown of Montreal, and to say the hometown hero was cheered would be an understatement. Zayn got one of the loudest and longest ovations the wrestling business has seen in a long time. Fans were losing their minds. Check out this madness...

I have no idea what the original plan was for when Sami went out there. There's no way he factored in more than five minutes of cheering, but when the crowd is showing this much support, it's better than anything you can say on the microphone. So, he improvised, went with the crowd and used his final minute or so to get in a brilliant little promo that rallied the entire city behind him by busting out a little French.

Now, full disclosure, as much as I love Sami Zayn, I've never, even for a second, thought he could beat Roman Reigns, especially not ahead of WrestleMania. It just doesn't make any sense. Roman Reigns has been holding the belts for more than two years. If he's going to lose them, why the hell would he lose them six weeks before WrestleMania?

That's why I picked Roman Reigns in my Elimination Chamber predictions, and that's why pretty much everyone else who is sophisticated about wrestling picked the same thing. But after watching this, I'm not so sure anymore. Yes, why would you give Roman an L right before WrestleMania is a fair question. But you know what else is a fair question? Why would you burn one of the most popular characters in almost a decade six weeks before WrestleMania? Shouldn't that guy, the one that's attracting all the attention be in the Main Event?

It turns out I'm not the only one having these thoughts. Tons of fans hit up Twitter after the Zayn promo to close Smackdown to essentially say the same thing...

I have no idea what Triple H and the WWE writers are going to do, but here's what I would do if I were them. I'd have Sami win the belt at Elimination Chamber thanks to some help from Jimmy and Jey Uso who turn on Roman. Then I'd have Roman and Solo fight The Usos as the main event of night one of WrestleMania. Then I'd have Roman vs Sami Zayn vs Cody close the show on night two. 

I have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow night, and as a wrestling fan, that's a fantastic spot to be in. WWE can put the belt on Sami Zayn and reward one of the most astounding mid-card to main event runs in wrestling history. Or it can have Roman Reigns ruin the hopes of Zayn and everyone in his hometown by beating him and generating nuclear heat from the angry fans. 

The Bloodline story is the best I've ever watched as a wrestling fan, and all of the pieces are in place for it to get even better. WWE could stick with the original rumored plan and give us Sami and Kevin Owens vs The Usos at WrestleMania. Or it can go in an exciting and unexpected direction and make this an all-time PPV to remember. What a time to be a wrestling fan.

You can catch Elimination Chamber on Saturday night. It aires free with a Peacock subscription

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Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.