We’ve all seen our share of poorly executed and downright uninspiring storylines in WWE history, but the Bloodline and Sami Zayn saga isn’t one of them. In fact, it has been so good, the saddest part about the angle is we know it is coming to an end shortly.
On Friday, at the climax of the first episode of Smackdown since Saturday night’s epic Royal Rumble ending, the former honorary Uce and the Bloodline authored another memorable finish to WWE programming.
In Greenville, South Carolina, flanked by Paul Heyman, the Tribal Chief delivered a strong promo looking ahead to his match with Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania. Amidst chants of Zayn’s name from the crowd, Reigns tried to be dismissive of his new rival.
That became impossible a few moments into Roman’s rant.
Dressed in a black hoodie and joggers, Zayn attacked the Undisputed Universal Champion. During the attack, Zayn revealed his altered t-shirt with the word “Zayn” written on a piece of tape that covered the word “Uso.” Ultimately, Zayn got the drop on Reigns.
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However, Jimmy Uso and Solo returned to the ring–after being sent to catering earlier in the evening–to beat Zayn down. The help from what’s left of the Bloodline allowed Reigns to come back to the ring and to issue a challenge to Zayn to face him for the title at Elimination Chamber.
Here is a look at the segment:
That was a fairly predictable turn of events, which makes the execution of the sequence and its impact all the more impressive.
Zayn deserves praise for the energy he conveyed during the attack, which you can see in the video above. The culmination of the attack was Zayn’s move thief tactics. He dropped Reigns with his version of the Head of the Tables’ spear.
Zayn screaming Roman’s name with a painful screech served as just another layer of proof of the Canadian’s brilliance as a performer. Before Jimmy and Solo shifted the momentum of the scene, Zayn announced his intentions to take the championship away from Reigns.
While Reigns’ initial promo was strong, it was his in-ring mic work over a pummeled Zayn that really pushed the scene over the top. The crowd chanted for Jey Uso, who wasn’t present. His absence is just another layer in the epic Bloodline story.
As the crowd chanted for Jey to come to Zayn’s rescue, Reigns dropped the following challenge and bombs:
“You hear that? They want Jay, but I don’t have Jay. Because you broke up my Bloodline. My right-hand man isn’t here because of you, Sami. You understand? I gave you the key to kingdom. I gave you an invitation to the promise land, but how do you repay me? You break up my family. So, I’m going to give you what you want, but you’re going to give me what I want. You understand me? I want you in Montreal. I want you at the Elimination Chamber. Because you broke up my family and I’m going to break you in front of your entire family; your parents, your wife, your child, all your family friends, all your relatives, everybody. I want them to see what happens when you play with the Bloodline and you mess with my family. I’ll see you soon.”
I marvel at how outstanding Reigns has become as a performer. He was always athletic. He’s always had a look that made him stand out. However, over the course of the Head of the Table angle, he has blossomed into one of the most complete performers in the history of professional wrestling.
Reigns is going to beat Zayn at Elimination Chamber, and it’s usually not good to feel so confident about the results of such a high profile match. However, somehow I’m convinced they will find a way to make the match and scene one to remember.
Here is a look at all of the results from Friday’s episode of Smackdown:
- Braun Strowman and Ricochet def. Imperium (will face the Usos for the undisputed tag titles on February 10)
- (c) Charlotte Flair def. Sonya Deville – SmackDown Women’s Championship
- Viking Raiders def. Brawlin’ Brutes
- Natalya def. Shayna Baszler, Zelina Vega and Shotzi (Natalya will be a part of the women’s Elimination Chamber match)