At WWE Elimination Chamber 2020, Sami Zayn dethroned Braun Strowman to become the new Intercontinental Champion. The following will pontificate why his miraculous success epitomized altruism.
‘What drives me is the idea that I can do something larger than myself. It’s about proving people who believe in me…. I want to prove them right.” -Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn, the Underdog from the Underground and the Great Liberator, is all about making his own breaks when opportunity knocks as well as doing the right thing even when others are telling him it’s not worth it to do it. As can be indicated by his work inside and outside the WWE, it is quite transparent that his steadfast loyalty to his own beliefs undisputedly has no boundaries.
Furthermore, whether heel or babyface, Zayn has multiple dimensions to his character that helps him connect with the WWE Universe in unfathomable ways. Other than being a remarkable competitor in the ring and on the mic, he knows how to weather the storm, especially in what is considered a ‘toxic working environment’ (i.e. WWE).
Sami Zayn Brought Awareness To WWE’s Toxicity
After Sami Zayn had shoulder surgery to repair his torn rotator cuffs, he returned to in-ring competition by answering Finn Balor’s Intercontinental Championship Challenge on the Raw after WrestleMania 35.
Since Finn Balor recently won the Intercontinental Championship from Bobby Lashley at last year’s WrestleMania and it would be quite a ‘rib’ to book Balor’s IC Title Reign as transient as his Universal Title Reign (i.e. 24 hours long), Zayn unfortunately lost this Intercontinental Championship match.
As many WWE fans know, losing one’s first match back from injury is never a good sign, especially when considering Zayn’s win-loss record on the main roster. However, he kickstarted his long-winded journey to the Intercontinental Championship after this loss with a scathing heel promo that brought awareness to WWE’s Toxicity.
He caustically conveyed that WWE is toxic thanks to the WWE Universe, who only find joy and self-worth in being cynical critics. As weeks went by, Zayn continued to give the WWE Universe psychology lessons on why they are awful human beings and why the WWE’s toxic environment soured his mood.
Nonetheless, these sensational heel promos did not lead to victories. Usually, heel promos of this caliber lead to significant heel victories to solidify and fulfill heel turns for the WWE superstars, but that was not the case for Zayn. Other than being written off the Money in the Bank Ladder Match in 2019 and getting replaced by Brock Lesnar, he continued to lose to superstars, like Seth Rollins, Rey Mysterio, and Cedric Alexander.
Once he lost to Cedric Alexander in the King of the Ring Tournament, enough was enough. He went absolutely berserk after his King of the Ring loss in the very first round. Since the wildcard rule was in play, he became frustrated with Raw but did not give up as he decided to move to SmackDown, the show where he found his true calling.
Sami Zayn Fought WWE’s Toxicity With Altruism
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At this point, Sami Zayn’s stock was already dropping and many WWE fans felt that there was no more hope for the underdog from the underground. However, Zayn flipped the switch by remaining relevant on weekly television as the great Liberator for the superstar who dethroned Finn Balor at WWE Extreme Rules 2019 in July to become the new Intercontinental Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura.
This is the moment Zayn finally had an epiphany. He felt that he had fallen into WWE’s traps of greed and selfishness and had allowed WWE’s Toxicity to distract him from his truly calling. He felt that he had been trying too hard to win for himself when he should really be trying to win for something larger than himself (as quoted at the start of this article).
All his life, Zayn has fought for what is right. When he was El Generico in storyline, he helped and brought awareness to misfortunate orphans in Mexico. Now, in his free time, Zayn continuously aims to save lives in Syria by advertising his #SamiForSyria campaign on his Twitter account and accepting donations.
Due to his way of life, Zayn felt that his path to redemption is through altruism, and he decided to fight WWE’s toxicity by implementing his profound altruism with then-Intercontinental Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura. Considering that Nakamura has trouble speaking fluent English, Zayn was willing to help Nakamura advance up the ladder in the WWE by becoming his spokesperson.
This may have seemed like a random partnership, but Nakamura’s first match in the WWE was against Zayn at NXT Takeover: Dallas in 2016. Ever since then, they have had immense respect for each other’s character and abilities.
However, did his new altruistic outlook lead him to immediate victories? Unfortunately, it did not but he did not lose many matches either because Zayn was barely wrestling in matches and strictly focused on his role as a manager for Nakamura while adding Cesaro to his faction after the November 2019 draft.
Many fans became concerned as to whether Zayn had given up on his in-ring career or whether he would be ever be booked for another match in the WWE ever again until Braun Strowman dethroned Nakamura to win his first Intercontinental Championship on the January 31 episode of Friday Night SmackDown.
This struck a chord for Zayn and he found the need to get back inside the squared circle at WWE Elimination Chamber 2020 not only to bring the title back to the ‘good guys’ and redeem his faction from their devastating loss to the Monster Among Men but also serve justice in a world full of injustices (one of the reasons why my name is Mark Justice).
Sami Zayn’s Altruism Was Rewarded With Championship Gold
At WWE Elimination Chamber 2020, Sami Zayn dethroned Braun Strowman to become the new Intercontinental Champion. This did not only show that anything can happen with hard work and determination. Zayn also taught everyone a very important moral lesson with his Intercontinental Championship victory: “When you do good to others, good will come to you.”
Zayn’s altruistic outlook was real and was not just a gimmick he decided to pursue. He was truly in his element for these past couple of months and his outlook was rewarded with the Intercontinental Championship, the same championship he failed to win against Finn Balor upon his return from injury on the Raw after WrestleMania 35.
All good things come to those who to wait. Indeed, for all the fans who has always believed in Sami Zayn, he has proven them right. Thank you for being their inspiration. Thank you for showing them how to fight for what is right. Thank you for epitomizing altruism, Sami Zayn.
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