The past several weeks have been a doozy in the world of professional wrestling, particularly in the Internet Wrestling Community. Since January there has been a manufactured campaign to get fans to turn on Cody Rhodes, highlighted by a painfully inaccurate equating of the situation to 2014 going into the Royal Rumble with Rhodes in the role of Batista and Sami Zayn in that of Daniel Bryan. Then when that didn’t work they shifted to phase 2, which saying that WWE had a chance to make an all time moment with Sami Zayn and was blowing it if they didn’t have him go over here. And when I say manufactured I mean it.
The sheer number of wrestling media people pushing the narrative that crowds were going to turn on Cody, all at the same time and out of thin air based on no evidence, should be enough to invalidate anything they have to say going forward about how a show should be booked. It was like they were all on a conference call together and decided to go with it, it was that slapped together and in tandem. It was a pathetic attempt to make news because quite frankly it’s not as easy to get people to jump on the ‘Fed bad’ train for traffic as it used to be.
‘The office picked this guy, the fans picked the other guy’ has been a reliable wrestling media and IWC angle for the last 12 years, so it must have seemed like a good play once again. Either that or the people pushing it have the comprehension skills of the children who got left behind in 2001, and jumped on the first thing they could find see kinda sorta looked like something that happened before. What happened at Elimination Chamber is what should have happened and here’s why.
The Bloodline story had been going on since August of 2020. Sami Zayn didn’t become a regular part of it until May of 2022 and wasn’t a full time every week player until it had been going on for two years. The story, while it has gone on to include him in a big way, has never been about him. That’s reason alone for him not to have won the title from Roman. The story is about Roman and Jey, if someone from Roman’s circle is to take him down then Jey is the only candidate. Sami is not.
Well neither is Cody, Robert!
You’re absolutely right. Cody is, however, set up to be the hero of the story which is pretty obvious if you watched five minutes of him since he came back. When the villain is the main character of the story then the guy or gal who takes him down doesn’t have to be there from day one, they just have to bet set on a good path to get there and go through the proper trials before the big moment. Again it’s pretty obvious that’s what’s going on here. Luke Skywalker debuted in Episode 4 and not Episode 1, you know.
Ok so why Cody and not Sami?
To be blunt, business. Cody has been moving merchandise, popping TV ratings and selling tickets like a franchise player since he returned, Sami has been on the main roster for seven years and only started doing so when he became a part of this story. Cody is already running Monday Night RAW. If you’re gonna pick someone to dethrone Roman Reigns then this is a no brainer, sorry. Cody is best positioned to do this and still have franchise player momentum two months, six months, a year later without having to still be entertwined with Reigns. Sami is not, and we have yet to see any evidence that he could be. At least not right now. If you got some, show me and I’ll retract all of this.
They couldn’t give a Sami a moment?
They did give Sami a moment. Over the past six months he’s wrestled in two pay per view main events and has been a player in the biggest story of the past several decades, and perhaps the greatest wrestling story ever. He got to main event a pay per view in his hometown against the biggest star in the business and got a full heroes welcome both that night and the night before on Smackdown. The Underdog from the Underground went from getting humiliated by Johnny Knoxville to almost beating Roman Reigns in less than a year. He even got to stand tall at the end with his music playing. That’s a lot!
They could have had him win it, and then Roman win it back!!
And here we have it, the stupidest idea out of all this. Decisions like that were made largely because there was a show called Monday Nitro that used to come on TV against RAW every week, and even beat them for 83 weeks. Things had to be done for shock value to get you to turn to, or stay with RAW. Things that had long term detrimental effects on booking that we’re still feeling today. We don’t need a return to the days of Kane winning the World Title at King of the Ring and then losing it back the very next night on RAW so that they could beat Nitro that week, especially with there being no Nitro to beat anymore.
If you’re a podcaster, wrestling media guy or so called smart fan and you had the audacity to suggest this then I gotta guess that you were either looking for attention, or you’re just actually not that smart after all. Calling for a return to one of the most egregiously bad booking strategies from 25 years ago, one that was borne out of shameless desperation and not sound strategy, is certainly a choice and not a good one. If you want to see that kind of thing then go dial up 1998 RAW and Nitro on Peacock, there’s plenty of it there.
Professional wrestling is supposed to take you through the full spectrum of emotions from happiness to sadness to anger to disappointment and everywhere else. Roping you in to hope for someone like Sami when he has zero real chance is part of the deal, and snatching the rug out of from under him to break your heart is one of the things is as much a part of the show as anything. If you can’t take that I don’t know what to tell you. That they got you to believe Sami had a shot meant that they did their jobs.
So in closing, yes the match and the show ended the way it should have. This is the biggest and best wrestling story since the Monday Night Wars and it should get the proper climax it deserves, not a frazzled mess like the NWO got or the abrupt swerve that Austin vs McMahon turned on. That’s with Roman finally losing for the first time in three years, not losing a second time after a hotshot decision to pop a crowd in one building and a few people watching at home.