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“Snapped” Sami Zayn is the Best Character Turn in Years

Even with a friend’s warning (and common sense dictating) that I was going to have Hell in a Cell spoiled for me if I absentmindedly opened Twitter before watching it on Monday, a lapse of judgment during the phenomenal Usos/New Day match gave me just enough time to see footage of a hoodie-clad Sami Zayn at the scene of the Cell match between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon. While I was disappointed at the spoiler, knowing that Sami was going to inject himself into a main event storyline – and back on a collision course with Kevin Owens – helped me keep up excitement for the slow beginning of the match.

I was sad that I’d ruined the twist of Sami coming out to attack Kevin. I was sure I’d known what was happening. After their previous storylines, the idea of Sami coming to his former best friend’s aid couldn’t have even crossed my mind. In a way, I was even more surprised than I would’ve been if I didn’t know he’d be there at all. Other than a bizarre promo from his indie days in which he adopts a loud heel persona of “Big Larry,” Evil Sami Zayn does not compute.

Obviously, in light of his promo on Smackdown, it’s more complicated than “Evil Sami Zayn.” Like some of the best heels, he’s right about a lot of things, the big one being that Shane did lie about giving him opportunities on a new brand. So he didn’t abandon his conviction to always do the right thing; given the circumstances, he just found it easy to justify the right thing being “helping his best friend.”

It makes perfect sense, even though it seems like it doesn’t. That’s people. That’s a complex character. That’s an effective twist. The saying is “surprising but inevitable,” and though heel Sami was basically inconceivable a week ago, looking back on his conflict with Shane makes it obvious that some sort of lashing out at his commissioner was bound to happen sooner than later.

Whether the endgame of this is the tag titles, a face turn from Sami a la Bryan/Wyatts, or even a face turn from Kevin in another move that doesn’t make sense to think about, the ending of Hell in a Cell and this new direction for the directionless Sami Zayn was a brilliant move.

Written by Bobby Murphy (@RobertJMurph)

Image courtesy of WWE.com

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