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Sami Zayn thought he had the best story for the WrestleMania main event, but it ‘wasn’t in the cards’

Now that WrestleMania is a two night event, there are two matches each year that get the highly-coveted (to some folks, anyway) label of “WrestleMania main event.” Thanks to the presence of a WrestleMania night one, it’s accurate and technically correct to say that Kevin Owens, Bianca Belair, AJ Styles, and Sasha Banks are WrestleMania main eventers.

Sami Zayn and The Usos also joined that list this year when their tag team match closed out night one of WrestleMania 39. But let’s cut right through the technicalities here; it’s the main event of night two that’s the real WrestleMania main event. That’s where Royal Rumble winner Cody Rhodes was defeated by WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns to wrap up the biggest pro wrestling weekend of 2023.

A lot of wrestling fans thought Sami Zayn deserved that spot opposite Roman in the main event of WrestleMania 39, because Sami was the most over star in WWE in the six months leading up to the event. He instead got to lose against Reigns in the main event of February’s Elimination Chamber PPV in Montreal.

During an interview on Mark Andrews: My Love Letter to Wrestling, Sami was asked if there was a time when he thought he would be in that WrestleMania main event match against Reigns.

Here’s is Zayn’s response, where he talks about all the guys rubbing off on each other:

“So there was a time period going from Survivor Series building into the Rumble, and especially right before the Rumble, and right after the Rumble, where I 100 percent thought it could go to me and Roman at ‘Mania, and it would be the best story. But that wasn’t in the cards.”

“It’s very hard to have a plan and stick with it. There’s all these other variables. Well, a variable popped up, which is Cody’s return.”

“But again, it was a good thing. There was no rejection. He was widely accepted...[the fans] were happy to see him win the Royal Rumble. They wanted him to dethrone Roman Reigns. And actually those stories even rubbed up on each other, where Cody kind of rubbed up on us, and we were rubbing up on him. And the whole thing was helping each other. Everybody was lifting everybody. That’s when wrestling is done right; everybody is elevating one another.”

Sami talked about WWE building goodwill with its fans after months of delivering at the highest level with The Bloodline’s story, and how that trust helped keep the fans from rejecting WWE’s decision to put Cody in the spot against Roman at WrestleMania.

Zayn admits that he did think Rhodes winning against Reigns seemed like a no-brainer, but he’s hopeful that fans will continue trusting WWE to come up with the proper payoff to this story:

“I do think, strictly from a story perspective, it would have been great to see Cody put a bow on it. But it’s still building...we build to these things that appear to be these culminations, but there’s always a TV show next week.”

“Even me, I’m like, oh yeah of course, Cody’s got to win...but you kind of got to hold on to that trust. Okay well, I’m a fan, I’m invested and I trust that they’ll pay this off properly at the right time.”

After Roman’s nearly three year run on top and perhaps now a temporary transition to tag team wrestling, do you still trust WWE to give fans the proper pay off to this story? Should it have been Sami or Cody beating the Tribal Chief at WrestleMania 39?

Give us your thoughts in the comments below, Cagesiders.

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