The Montréal faithful were loud in their disapproval of John Cena as they sang “John Cena sucks” to the tune of his entrance music. The U.S. open challenge was laid out on foreign soil as chants of “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole,” filled the Bell Centre, foreshadowing a pending arrival. Much to everyone’s surprise, the legendary Bret Hart came out to introduce “a great wrestler.” The people slid to the edge of their seats with baited breath as Sami Zayn emerged from behind the curtain.
Debuts in pro wrestling are often talked about aspects of a wrestler’s career. John Cena was in a similar situation almost thirteen years ago when he took Kurt Angle up on his open challenge. Cena lost the match in a valiant effort that was designed to get him over with the audience. Here,Cena was on the opposite side of that equation with the task of getting the NXT standout over on his first night on the main roster.
Sami Zayn was ready for the main roster yesterday and you couldn’t have laid out a better scenario than to debut in your hometown and working with the top guy in WWE. However, as it often does, fate reared its ugly head as Zayn injured his shoulder as he made his entrance while raising his arms to get the crowd going.
I can only imagine how stressful this must have been. To have your coming out party on such a grand stage, only to be injured, in pain, and having to gut it out while realizing there might not be a second chance to make a first impression. Like a trooper, Zayn toughed it out, got a much needed break when the referee threw up the “X” symbol to have the trainer look at him and continued with the match.
Cena gave Zayn more offense than most would’ve received in this situation. This was a great piece of business since it implies that this upstart has a lot of moxie. Virtually everyone who was unfamiliar with the Canadian born superstar was aghast when he delivered his patented tornado DDT through the ropes. Zayn even scored a close near fall on the champ with the Blue Thunder Bomb.
Then, the moment came when Zayn kicked out of Cena’s finishing maneuver, the Attitude Adjustment. This particular accomplishment is reserved only for the marquee names on the roster. Yet, here, a rookie is able to come back from one of the industry’s most dreaded moves. At that point, regardless of the end result, Sami Zayn won that match. Sure, he didn’t get his hand raised in victory, but we all knew he wasn’t going to beat John Cena on his first night.
Zayn was portrayed in a star-welcoming introduction that most wrestlers would kill for. Even though he was legitimately injured in the match, it produced that Rocky-Balboa-esque drama that made you care about the character in the ring. Sami Zayn is truly one of the best professional wrestlers on the planet. And in front of a worldwide television audience while dealing with pain inducing adversity, he proved it.