***WARNING: YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE!!! PLEASE KEEP EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE AT ALL TIMES!!!***
Whatever they are paying Sami Zayn, it isn’t enough by half. This was a tour de force, dare I say Jericho-esque performance, which is of course the highest possible honor to bestow upon a Canadian wrestler. The charm of Zayn has been exposed as almost entirely constructed by — shockingly — his relationship to Kevin Owens, and free from KO’s emotional dampening, the worst and most unlikeable chaotic parts of Sami manifest themselves in a way that hints there’s much more things of value of it underneath. Black gold, that is.
Which, speaking of, I’m not happy to be saying this, but I’ll be damned if I don’t kind of like Bobby Lashley. Sami’s done such incredible work to this point that, quite frankly, Bobby doesn’t seem like he’d been able to do himself despite his basically equal time in the business. Bobby’s strident above-averageness bores Sami, who exists in a world of peaks and valleys, and Bobby’s unapologetic nature about who he is FUCKING KILLS Sami.
That’s because, although it’s likely just something he plays on TV, Sami comes off entirely as the kind of person we at the Palace of Wisdom refer to conforming non-conformists, or “neckbeards”. Sami’s inability to accept that the whole point of not conforming to other people’s expectations is almost entirely based on the idea of not having those kind of expectations of others in the first fucking place.
It’s also important to appreciate Sami’s agency in all this. Not liking someone the way that Sami doesn’t like Bobby Lashley is an explicit choice you are making, as Bobby’s behavior in no way justifies literally any of Sami’s. As has been the case the entire time, Sami’s just being a bad guy who is trying to hurt Bobby, whichever way he can.
That this entire feud is based of a fake injury that Bobby gave Sami — with a suplex that he claims caused him to miss the trip to Saudi Arabia as a result of the vertigo it induced, all of which was done to not bring — changes ever so slightly the emotional resonance of the entire process. But given that Zayn’s specific kind of shittiness seems to be coming from a very real place, it’s actually worked in a way that I don’t think any of us saw coming.
Except for maybe Sami.