Since the advent of the newly independent Monday Night Raw, creative has done a decent job of keeping as much of the most promising talents on the roster in a storyline. Cesaro and Sheamus are getting some much needed ring time, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho have been thrown together to keep Raw’s mic game strong, while The Club have been allowing their personalities to emerge.
But one talent who has arguably been lost in the shuffle is Sami Zayn.
He’s still getting time in the ring to compete in some meaningful matches, but like Cesaro before him, his primary purpose has been as a safe pair of hands to ensure a high quality of wrestling, and an impressive barrier for a wrestler with momentum to overcome. Many fans are now beginning to worry that Zayn is languishing in obscurity, and destined to be the odds on loser in good weekly and pre-show matches.
But this is a fear that is somewhat misplaced, for Zayn is destined to re-emerge and take his place back in some unpredictable feuds on par with the epic one he shared with Kevin Owens (which is destined to crop up repeatedly, hopefully for months and years to come.)
Keeping Zayn in a stationary position is something that will be very good for him at the present time. For a number of months, he was featuring mostly in the standard 30-man ladder matches and 12-pack challenges, so while he was good for a few impressive spots, he hasn’t really had the chance to break himself in with mainstream fans as a singles competitor against a wide variety of opponents. Add to this the fact that any program can only run so many storylines with so many wrestlers, it is actually reassuring to note that Zayn hasn’t been relegated to backstage skits, or disregarded on television altogether. He also isn’t a talent in desperate need of exposure. His personality is over, his wrestling ability is noted and his mic skills are accounted for.
Others, such as Titus O’Neil, Darren Young and Neville, are enjoying newfound airtime and character development. However lackluster some of those performances have been, they at least need to be tested in front of mainstream audiences, and thrown at the wall to see if they stick.
The brand extension also presents opportunities for talent to be exposed on a more rotational basis, meaning that some wrestlers can enjoy the sort of downtime that Zayn is undergoing at the moment. It would mean that creative would not be required to keep on churning out angles and rivalries for the sake of filling airtime, and allow them to nurture existing ones. A guy like Sami Zayn is going to be allowed to fall into the wayside, so fans should optimistically expect that Sami Zayn is, at some point in the near future, going to emerge from the pre-shows and find himself inserted in a well booked rivalry of championship chase. Everyone is going to get their turn with a more manageable roster.
It is far better to keep Sami Zayn performing perfunctory roles for the time being than it is to cram him in a makeshift rivalry that underutilizes his well-documented talent and makes him feel meaningless. At least his recent showings have been meaningful to the people defeating him.
The current situation is far more desirable than Zayn taking part in ensemble pieces. He ain’t being forgotten and cast aside. After all, it’s not like he’s being crammed into a tag team with R-Truth and playing Pokemon Go for the LOLs.