As the WWE fans were preparing to change the channel during a Baron Corbin interview, who but Sami Zayn emerged from the crowd to demand an audience with Cody Rhodes on RAW. When “The American Nightmare” emerged from the back, greeting Zayn with his signature greeting, “so what do you want to talk about?” everyone’s favorite “Underdog from the Underground” asked a very specific question of his potential WrestleMania 39 foe.
“You know Cody, last week on RAW you had this verbal exchange with Paul Heyman and it set the world on fire,” Zayn said. “Everyone was talking about it and with good reason, it’s a lot to unpack there. But there’s one thing that you said that has been replaying in my mind over and over and over and I can’t stop thinking about it. And it’s when you said that it’s looking more and more every day like it’s going to be Cody Rhodes versus Sami Zayn at WrestleMania. So I came all this way Cody, I came all this way to look you dead in your eyes and I want to head it right out of your mouth. Tell me face to face, tell me man to man right now: is that just lip service? Or do you actually believe that I can beat Roman Reigns?”
This question clearly caught Rhodes off guard, who turned the tables on his potential WrestleMania 39 foe with a question of his own.
“Sami, my bandwidth has really been dedicated to what I’ve been saying, to winning the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania, so I don’t have a lot left over to BS you,” Rhodes said. “When I said that I think you can beat Roman Reigns, that you will beat Roman Reigns, I meant it. When I said you could beat and most likely would be my opponent at WrestleMania, I meant it. But respectfully, I don’t think that’s what this is about.”
“Does it really matter what I believe? Because I think what matters is what you believe. Do you, Sami Zayn, believe that you can defeat Roman Reigns?”
The WWE Universe is a believer in @SamiZayn!#WWERaw pic.twitter.com/n6sZwpvNFI
— WWE (@WWE) February 14, 2023
Cody Rhodes pumps Sami Zayn up ahead of his Elimination Chamber showdown.
Asked a question he clearly didn’t expect, Zayn cut a promo for the ages about self-doubt and self-belief.
“Do you want the truth? I don’t know, okay?” Zayn said. “I don’t know, because you haven’t seen what I’ve seen, okay? I have been in the trenches with The Bloodline. I have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Roman Reigns for over nine months, I have been in the dugout with them making game plans. I have seen it, I have seen, they always find a way, Cody, they always find a way. And this thing about him being in god mode, it’s not just been a catchphrase, he actually is as good as he says he is. He actually is operating on a level higher than he’s ever operated on before. And I have seen it, I’ve seen guys bigger than me, I’ve seen guys stronger than me walk into walk into matches with Roman Reigns full of conviction, fully believing in their hearts that they were going to be the ones to take down Roman Reigns and every single one of them went down. Every single one. So now I’m supposed to believe that after all of this time, after almost 900 days, that Sami Zayn is going to be the one to take down Roman Reigns?”
“Look, if you’re asking me if I think I’m capable of beating Roman Reigns, yes, I believe that. If you’re asking me if I think I’m capable of becoming the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, yes, I believe that. If you’re asking if I think I’m worthy of main eventing WrestleMania, yes, I believe that. I have to believe that. I have to believe that with every fiber of my being, because if I don’t believe that with every fiber of my being no one will Cody, okay? But if you’re asking me if I actually think that I’m going to be the one walking out of Montreal as the new Undisputed WWE Champion, I don’t know. Okay, Cody, I don’t know.”
Rhodes clearly didn’t like that answer, as he fired back at and ultimately fired up the Canadian Superstar.
“You don’t know?” Rhodes asked. “That’s what you’re saying to me, you don’t know? I seems like everyone here knows. It seems like your hometown of Montreal, where they watched you as an upstart wrestler and they’re going to be chanting your name, it seems like they know. I haven’t been where you have been. I haven’t watched Roman Reigns up close, but I have watched him from the sidelines, I’ve watched him from when he became champion to now, and you’re right. Everybody has fallen. But here’s the other thing: there’s dissension in The Bloodline for the first time ever, his Bloodline, and that’s because of you. There’s cracks in the armor, holes in the scales, and that’s because of you. The idea that the greatest champion of our generation could possibly be dethroned, becoming a reality, is because of you. This awesome moment in time that we’re all here for, it’s because of you. You wanna say that Roman Reigns is god mode? Well put it on a t-shirt, print it, it looks real good there, but Roman Reigns is a man, Sami. You crack him open at the Elimination Chamber, and you find out for yourself. I won the 2023 Royal Rumble, I punched my ticket, Michael Cole said it on commentary, he said ‘finish the story, finish the story, finish the story,’ I intend to finish my story, you need to finish yours.”
“But just one more thing, Sami: I don’t wanna see you on RAW next Monday. Because I’d rather see you at WrestleMania.”
Now, Cody Rhodes’ words shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as he mentioned that he believes that Zayn could best Reigns at Elimination Chamber in his promo with Heyman, and even said he’d be down for a three-way match at WrestleMania 39 with both Superstars in an interview with Ariel Helwani. Still, for that to happen, Zayn actually has to get the job done, and believing that it can be done is half the battle.
Goosebumps and chills right now after THAT moment on #WWERaw!@CodyRhodes believes in @SamiZayn ahead of #WWEChamber. And THAT is undeniable. pic.twitter.com/heBsXblh2A
— WWE (@WWE) February 14, 2023