After securing the biggest wins of their respective careers in the main event of Night 1 of WrestleMania 39, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were tasked with addressing the assembled media at SoFi Stadium, and unsurprisingly, they had a lot to say. From talking about Super Dragon and PWG, to being from Montreal, to Owens eating a Snickers bar for what felt like the entire session, the duo certainly sounded like the biggest babyfaces in the entire Fed and were gracious in their victory, putting over The Usos for their in-ring efforts too.
But before the duo packed it in and went to the back to celebrate their victory – and probably eat more Snickers bars – Owens asked for a few more moments to candidly address the WWE Universe and showed some love to two of the best tag teams to ever do it.
“Before we go, I just want to say one thing,” Owens said. “We talked about him being the MVP, like I’ve said it and it’s true but before I go, two things: The Usos, even though everybody loves them, everybody appreciates them, they’re under-appreciated, they’re the best; unbelievable. And again, I don’t have enough good words for them.
“And also, I said PWG helped us get here, Super Dragon helped us get here, there’s two other guys who really helped us get here, their names are Mark and Jay Briscoe. We lost Jay recently, I really hope we made him proud tonight cause god, great guys and we really miss them.”
One day after Ring of Honor ran the inaugural Reach for the Sky Ladder match to crown the first World Tag Team Champions since Jay's passing, it's pretty incredible to see the 13-time ROH Tag Team Champion get his flowers in WWE too, a company that famously didn't want to sign The Briscoes because they weren't “aesthetically pleasing.” After shying away from even acknowledging that the performers in the ring are wrestling, Paul “Triple H” Levesque's willingness to embrace aspects outside of WWE for this particular angle really put it over the top and made it worthy of headlining WrestleMania 39.
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions @FightOwensFight & @SamiZayn take a moment to give @WWEUsos props as a tag team and also pay a special tribute to another tag team. ❤️#WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/PZ5KddMZAN
— WWE (@WWE) April 2, 2023
Sami Zayn compares his WrestleMania storyline to The Sopranos.
After watching KO and Zayn secure an incredible win over The Usos in the main event of WrestleMania 39, some, like yours truly, declared the match a “masterpiece” but little did we know that the men in the ring felt that way too, as in his post-match presser, “The Underdog from the Underground” compared his storyline with The Bloodline to prestige television shows like The Sopranos.
“There are Hall of Famers, world champions multiple times over, I'm talking some of the best ever that have never got to tell a story like this, over this course of time, with this level of depth, with this many talented individuals in front and in back of the camera, especially on the performance side of it. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it,” Zayn said via Fightful. “This feels like the culmination of it, but it's a long timeline with WWE, so even if you think you've put a nice bow on it, we can unravel that at any time and call back to it. That's been the beauty of this story, the number of callbacks. So much of it would not have worked with any other individuals. It had to be the Usos and Roman because that is a legitimate, lifelong relationship. It had to be Kevin because that is a legitimate 20-year friendship. Without that level of reality bleeding into the story, it just wouldn't work.
“One of the things that I take a lot of pride in with this story over the past year is… I do think it transcended the classical wrestling storyline. It's a glimpse into, because of its effectiveness, it could be a glimpse of what storylines going forward, if not achieve, will at least aspire to, in my opinion. Much like you saw with television, how it kind of evolved with the golden age of television in the 2000s with HBO and things like that, and more complex and layered characters. To do this story, if I may be so bold to offer a comparison, it's almost like the Sopranos. It is, to WWE, what the Sopranos was to television. If I may be so bold to make that comparison.”
Oh no, if Zayn's metaphor holds true, does that mean Reigns is going to get ambiguously popped by Cody Rhodes in the
finale Main Event of Night 2? Will the lights go out at SoFi House of Black-style while “Don't Stop Believing” plays over the PA?
… yeah, probably not, but could you even imagine?
Is Zayn correct? Should WWE rely on longer-term storytelling that evolves over years instead of months? Or can that only work on rare occasions, with faster and looser storylines making more sense for the social media generation? Fans will probably get at least an inkling of that on RAW, as the Monday after Mania often serves as a soft reset for the promotion heading into the new WWE year post-WrestleMania.