Here at Cageside Seats dot com, we’ve been big Sami Zayn fans his days in NXT*. Ever since his program with Johnny Knoxville culminated in one of the best matches at a great WrestleMania 38 weekend, our fan club has been filling up.
Which is great! Zayn’s is a talent that should be appreciated. Plus, it’s kind of like when your favorite musical act (in Sami’s case, this example would be about a ska band) hits big and you get to be a little smug when people ask if you’ve ever heard of them. But I digress...
Now that his storyline with The Bloodline has entered a new chapter, we’re hearing even more praise for SZ. WWE producer Shane “Hurricane” Helms couldn’t help but gush when talking to Corey Graves on After The Bell about the Jackass match he helped put together at ‘Mania:
“Sami is right now, and I have no problem saying this, Sami is the top performer in this entire industry. That’s how good Sami is. It’s daunting sometimes. Sami has a reputation you know. He’ll drive you bananas, but the end result is always a home run or grand slam.”
Former WWE writer and aspiring promoter Freddie Prinze, Jr. was focused on recent Friday nights when he sung Sami’s praises on his Wrestling With Freddie podcast, calling him (with tongue in cheek) “the greatest performer in the world”:
“Listen to me, it’s not putting him over, I’m spitting facts. There’s Marlon Brando, there’s Bette Davis, and there’s Sami Zayn. And that’s not even in the right order — that’s not even the right order...
“He’s the lead of the show. No one will believe me when I say this, but Sami Zayn is the lead of Friday Night SmackDown. He’s the Cary Grant of this movie. He’s the Clark Gable of this movie. Dare I say, he’s the 90s Freddie Prinze, Jr. of that movie.”
You may scoff at Prinze using himself as a comp, but that dude married Buffy. My 90s peeps know that’s a serious pull.
Anyway... how about that Sami Zayn? And how high do you think this wave of critical and popular acclaim can push him up the WWE card?
* Several of us have been big fans since he wore a mask in Ring of Honor & on the indies and recognize that as all part of one amazing career, but we’re done arguing with folks who think El Generico is dead or working in an orphanage or whatever. As Saraya recently said, “Fuck it. Think what you want.”