Sami Zayn is now on Smackdown. Even though the idea of wrestlers changing brands was just introduced this week, this still felt like a long time coming. After all, Zayn’s role in the WWE, and on RAW, is about being overlooked, being the underdog. The possibility of a defection to Smackdown was even part of a storyline for Zayn during his feud with Braun Strowman. That was just a way of driving the narrative, of course, but now his move is real. However, now that it has happened, has anything really changed?
Yes, Zayn moved to Smackdown, but so did United States champ Kevin Owens. That guaranteed Zayn wouldn’t be the biggest defection to the blue brand. Then, he was placed right in the main event, a battle to be the number one contender for the US title. He didn’t win, naturally. AJ Styles got the victory, and Zayn took the pin. It was business as usual. Zayn was involved in the upper card, but he was there to help make Baron Corbin look good and to give Styles somebody to pin. On the one hand, it’s kind of impressive that Zayn never seems to lose his standing with the company even though he’s always the guy who takes the loss to make somebody else look good. That’s why he feuded with Strowman, after all. On the other hand, it seems like that’s all he will ever be.
Zayn may be on Smackdown, but he seems no closer to actually winning gold. His role may be exactly what it was on RAW, only now he’s working with different wrestlers. Zayn gets to enjoy some variety in the guys he loses to. It’d be nice if the move to the blue brand really changed things for Zayn. Maybe it will. After all, Bray Wyatt seemed like he was going nowhere, and then the next thing we knew he was the tag champ, and then the World Heavyweight champ. There’s still hope for Zayn, and you can at least say he’s always managed to stick around the upper levels of the card. Still, if it eventually becomes clear nothing has really changed for Zayn, it will be a disappointment.
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