Times are hard. Ratings are down for every WWE show, profitablitity and revenue have plateaued as the company has begun to run out of new avenues to pump money out of, and the product has grown stagnant and lacks true stars more than any time in recent memory. At a recent board meeting, very serious men and women in business suits sat around a big oak table and tried to make the hard decisions that would steer the company in a better direction. They slashed budgets, they diversified further, and the massaged the books just enough that they should be able to turn a profit for the upcoming quarter, but at the last second a clerk ran in and told them that they were $700,000 short. This is a very serious issue. Without a number in the block, investors will begin to lose faith and sell their stock, beginning a downward trend that will be hard to come out of. Your contemporaries just had to fire one of your valued main eventers in order to make payroll, and you have the equally unenviable position of choosing the guy to take their place in the main event. You need to find someone who can not only get over and stay over, but can help to pull WWE out of this slump and make business good again. Vince McMahon has thrown set the following pictures in front of you saying that these are the guys who HE believes could be a main eventer, and are therefore your only choices. In an uncharacteristic show of uncertainty has asked you to answer the question...
The coin toss dictates that BGMaverick will go first.
Being a main eventer encompasses different components. It centers on having an ability to get over and stay over. Based on WWE’s market, Sammi Zayn makes sense.
Age is still on his side, considering he’s just 31 years old. In addition, he’s proven he can get over with WWE audiences. The scale was smaller in NXT, but his ascension to the championship on that brand created a storyline somewhat reminiscent of Daniel Bryan’s sympathetic rise to the championship three years ago. Zayn was the face of that brand for a time.
Despite being placed lower on the card, an undefined role, and no direction, Zayn’s endeared himself to the audience and remains one of the best true babyfaces on the main roster. Through it all, Zayn has shown he’s supremely gifted, talented in the ring, and a fan favorite.
A main eventer needs a foil, and you already have magic in the form of Zayn and Kevin Owens. Those two know each other so well and even if the stories have been told to some extent, added wrinkles can add to a feud that clearly produces high-quality matches (see Battleground 2016).
In addition, there’s untapped potential with a certain luchador connected to Zayn. That is, if he hasn’t been beheaded or isn’t helping orphanages.
WWE’s audience and people in general love an underdog story. He hasn’t been given the opportunity to run with the ball due to other pet projects. It’s time to pull the trigger and run with Zayn.
Debuting on the main roster as a heel enforcer for AJ Lee and Ziggler he eventually turned face and embarked on a path as a singles competitor winning the intercontinental title but floundering somewhat after that,The founding of the New Day would prove to be the making of all three members (after their initial failed face run).
A heel turn saw them become one of the most entertaining and over acts in the WWE to the point where they turned face again, But this time they were ready!
Charismatic, Entertaining and over the New Day became the longest reigning tag champs in history and at this time are engaged in a brilliant in ring series against the Usos.
Why does this qualify Big E to become a main eventer? Well as just noted he is charismatic and a good in ring talent , Initially his ascension would begin by turning on Kofi and Xavier and becoming a monster heel which he would pull off very well I think, Even bringing back the 5 count, He would wreck everyone on his way to the top!
After a period of time he could revert back to a face role if needed and as mentioned he has the natural charisma to fill any role.
He is young, Talented, Over, Charismatic and entertaining. What more could you want? Given the right booking I truly believe the sky is the limit for Big E!
I think we can both agree that both are underrated in terms of their potential. Something I feel that is lacking with Big E is a certain sense of intensity. It’s beyond obvious now that he has charisma and is comfortable on the mic, but I feel like his comfort zone is more in the realm of being silly. With Zayn, you’ll see a broader range of emotions through his promos.
Both guys generally would have to prove their value at the main event level, but you’re adding an extra and potentially insurmountable step with Big E. In terms of being thrust into being a main eventer right now, there would be some skeptics as to whether or not Big E could handle being a solo act.
He’s clearly proven himself in a trio, but the last significant solo run for him was pretty suspect. He was clearly tossed into the deep end, interacting with John Cena and CM Punk. It was just too much, too soon for him. Big E stays in his lane and clicks on all cylinders in The New Day but there’s nothing to validate what he could do on his own.
Already proven as a solo act, Zayn’s job has been to be the punching bag for pushed stars on the roster. Everyone feels like Zayn is in the fight but has a feeling he’ll still lose. If you start to stack some wins for the loveable loser, you have a star in the making.
It would be disingenuous of me to dismiss Zayns undoubted, Untapped potential, And if this were NXT frankly I would be inclined to agree with you, However this is WWE and who is the head honcho? V K McMahon! Ask yourself, On a purely visual point who is Vince more likely to get behind if suggested to him?
Now that is not to say he wouldn't get behind Zayn in the right circumstance but his singles run on the main roster to me says Vince doesn't view him quite the same way Hunter did in NXT.
Now you may say, Well Big E has been in a trio for a number of years now what makes you think Vince see's money in him? Well, Vince can be accused of a lot of things, And in this instance his love of big men has to work in Big E's favour, And as previously noted, To me, Big E turning on Kofi and Woods is so blindingly obvious even out of touch, old man Vinny Mac can see it.
Big E's less than stellar solo run prior to New Day is a pertinent point, But even in a group I feel he has matured and grown as a performer and this can only help in a new singles run.
Can Big E cut it on his own? My instincts say yes!
Last I checked, Kevin Owens wasn’t visually stimulating in a way that would pique Vince’s interest, yet Vince opted to interject himself into the current feud, allowing Owens to give him an epic beating. Shane is interacting with KO this weekend, and tussled with AJ Styles before that. Another guy who isn’t seen as strictly a body guy. You would think KO and the McMahons can carry their feud, but who was the last person involved? Zayn.
If Big E is evil in a turn like you suggest, that undercuts his primary emotive response: humor. You’re asking him to be dastardly and malicious. That’s working against type for him at the moment. He may have matured in The New Day, but that doesn’t change the fact that he would have to prove his value as a solo act. A heel turn’s stacking creative and psychological walls he has to work through in his first time as a main eventer. There’s no margin for error in that situation.
With Zayn, it’s simply a case that he’s just been booked poorly. Cesaro, Nakamura, Owens, Jericho, Strowman. All of these guys have gone up against Zayn, gotten their Ws, and had high-quality matches due to his enhancement. That shows a variety of wrestlers and styles Zayn can adapt to. That shows supreme flexibility. All he’s lacked is the opportunity. Zayn’s moment in the sun will matter because he’ll be in a spot he’s earned being at: the main event.
KO may not be visually stimulating in the traditional sense but he is not a 'smaller' guy like Zayn. Now this brings us back to Hunter and I believe that as far as 'his' guys from NXT goes he has to pick and choose his 'battles' and compromise with Vince and it's fairly obvious that HHH has convinced Vince to go all in with KO in a major way, Very possibly leading to a match with Hunter and KO at a later date.
Your point about Zayn still interacting with KO is a fine one, But in my opinion it is more to do with drawing on their history to further the KO character and story rather than Vince seeing Sami as a long term main event player, I think the best Sami can hope for with Vince around is a upper/mid card 'workhorse' position holding the ic/us title at various times.
Now as for Big E, I don't think I used the word evil, Initially he would simply be an ass kicking machine pinning chumps with the 5 count left right and centre, This would be one dimensional in the long term but he would use the live event circuit to hone and build a more 'vibrant' and in the long term entertaining heel character, and as mentioned he could always go back to his fun character down the line.
In closing, Zayn will be pushing against the glass ceiling, Big E will spear right through it!