When Cody Rhodes opened up SmackDown by walking down to the ring with a microphone in hand, fans knew they were in for a treat, but in an interesting twist of fate that paid off later, this time, “The American Nightmare” didn’t want to solely talk about himself.
Sure, Rhodes still did a fair bit of talking, giving Roman Reigns his flowers before flipping the script to put himself over, but in the end, “The American Nightmare” didn’t just take the ring for yet another fantastic promo about his future, his life, his wife, and his father, but instead took it upon himself to mend some fences in babyface manor and get Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn back on speaking terms heading into the most important show of the year, WrestleMania 39.
“Kevin, you’re good?” Rhodes asked. “In the spirit of the Road to WrestleMania, I’ve done this already, I’m gonna do this again here, I’m gonna peel back the curtain slightly for those who don’t know, this is a good place to find out. I have an incredible respect and love for you, Kevin Owens. It’s true because six or seven years ago when I was so bold as to say to WWE ‘good luck in your future endeavors,’ I said it with this confidence that didn’t exist. I needed help, I needed contacts, I needed structure, I needed to know that the system was out there, I needed someone to have my back, someone to root for me and you, sir, introduced me to some friends who made that easy for me, you sir bettered my livelihood and it’s a favor I could never repay but I would really like to repay here it in this moment. We’re all here, why don’t we have the conversation?”
Unfortunately, Owens didn’t want to have the conversation, as he felt as though he’d heard everything he needed to from Zayn. Zayn, however, did want to hear what Owens had to say, as it’s felt like he’s been doing all of the talking for weeks while KO has been unwilling to open up about his issues with his former partner.
“Look Kevin, they want it, I want it, it’s in your best interest, it’s in my best interest,” Zayn said. “If we come together we can do something magical, we can do something remarkable. We can be the ones that bring down The Ones. And I know that it might take years before this is totally repaired but I told you before, we don’t even need to do this as friends.”
Unfortunately, again, Owens wasn’t buying it. Despite understanding that taking down The Bloodline is what’s best for business and that he, Rhodes, and Zayn could probably take down The Bloodline at WrestleMania 39, he didn’t want to wrestle alongside a man who doesn’t even want to be his friend, and once again rejected his former friend’s offer to tag against The Usos at “The Showcase of the Immortals.”
Kevin Owens worked through his feelings with Sami Zayn on SmackDown.
Despite being rejected by Owens in the ring with Rhodes, Zayn still tried one more time to connect with his former friend before his confrontation with Jey Uso in the main event of SmackDown.
“Kevin, hey, listen to me, okay? Look, forget about everything I said, about The Bloodline, about fighting together, none of that stuff matters,” Zayn said. “Look, what you said in the ring, you’re wrong, okay? We are friends. We’ll always be friends. We’re not just friends, man, we’re brothers. Do you understand that, we’re brothers. And if you never want to talk to me ever again, that’s fine, I just wanted to let you know I love you. That’s it.”
Did this heart-to-heart moment change KO’s feelings about his former friend? Initially, no, as “The Prize Fighter” drove off in his muscle car and left Zayn alone to fend for Jey in a main event segment that rapidly devolved into the usual Bloodline gang-up, but in the end, even after everything that went down between the two long-time friends, including a particularly brutal beatdown at the end of WarGames, Owens came to the defense. Zayn laid out Jey with a lariat, flipped Jimmy out of the ring, and ultimately demolished the duo before locking up with Zayn, but not to fight. And the best part? Zayn and Owens hugged it out in the end, just like the crowd has been asking them to do all night. Needless to say, Cody Rhodes couldn’t have looked prouder in the back, as it’s always nice to see a plan come together.