When Sami Zayn was in NXT, he looked like one of WWE’s brightest prospects. The superstar won the black-and-gold brand’s World Championship and competed in some show-stealing matches, but since arriving on the main roster, he’s mostly been used as an enhancement talent. However, at this Sunday’s Elimination Chamber, he managed to capture his first piece of main roster gold by winning the Intercontinental Championship from Braun Strowman.
As documented by Wrestling Inc, “The Monster Among Men” was forced to defend his championship against Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro. Zayn spent the majority of the match letting his stablemates do the hard work against the powerful champion, but as soon as he had the opportunity to sneak the win, he took full advantage of the situation.
The match marked Zayn’s in-ring comeback as well. Since recovering from his last injury, he’s only wrestled sporadically and has served as a mouthpiece for Nakamura and Cesaro in recent months. It remains to be seen if he’ll return to wrestling on a regular basis now that he’s a champion or if his reign will be short-lived, but his victory does guarantee some more matches in his future.
As The Inquisitr reported last month, his long-term shoulder injury has supposedly been bothering him again in recent weeks. While tonight’s win suggests that he’s recovered from any recent setbacks, it’s likely that WWE booked a handicap match in order to protect him from aggravating his shoulder.
However, the match was set up to make Strowman look cheated and gain more heel heat on Zayn. “The Monster Among Men” will be seeking a rematch and revenge against the new champion with the odds less stacked against him. A one-on-one match seems inevitable, either on an upcoming episode of Friday Night SmackDown or at WrestleMania 36.
In the eyes of many fans, however, Zayn winning the Intercontinental Championship is long overdue. His promos are consistently entertaining, and he’s spent most of his main roster career as a workhorse enhancement talent who’s been used to make other superstars look better. Perhaps WWE management is finally rewarding him for his efforts.
On the last episode of Friday Night SmackDown, he was involved in a promo segment with Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman of the New World Order. Zayn came out of the segment looking strong after delivering some insults to the Hall of Famers, which suggests that the company wants to make him look strong heading into WrestleMania season.