NXT and WWE fans alike have been wondering when Sami Zayn would return to main WWE television for months. In front of a rabid Chicago crowd on Monday, the former NXT Champion finally returned, saving Neville from a postmatch beatdown at the hands of Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens.
Neville and Owens had a terrific TV match in the second segment of RAW. Owens managed to kick out of a second-rope Red Arrow and grabbed a desperation rollup (with a handful of tights) for the win. When Neville turned to complain to the ref, Owens slid back into the ring and started beating him down, yelling to the crowd that he's the man.
The beating continued outside the ring and Owens went for a powerbomb on the ring apron, when Zayn's music hit. Zayn raced right for Owens and the fight was on.
Zayn sent Owens packing and soaked in the cheers of the crowd as his lifelong rival stared back at him in disbelief.
There is speculation that Zayn could be involved in a multi-person Intercontinental Championship match at WrestleMania, as Owens already has a score of challengers with a claim to a title shot, including Dolph Ziggler, Big Show and The Miz.
Zayn was last seen on RAW on May 4 of last year, when he made an immediate impact in a classic, lauded United States Open Challenge match in his hometown of Montreal against then-champion John Cena. Zayn injured his shoulder while making his entrance for the match.
After losing his NXT title rematch against Owens on May 20, Zayn underwent shoulder surgery, which kept him out of action until Dec. 23 of last year, when he made his return on the NXT tour of the United Kingdom. He hasn't been on a WWE main roster show since his brief appearance in the Royal Rumble in January.
Recently in NXT, Zayn has been embroiled in a No. 1 contender feud for the NXT Championship with Samoa Joe.