If there's one thing Mark Calaway, aka The Undertaker, knows about more than seemingly anyone else, it's how to be a WWE Superstar. In his prime and even for a good while after it, very few things in professional wrestling got a bigger pop than the opening bell tolls of “Rest In Peace,” as it signified that Taker was coming to town, and his list included one thing and one thing only: pain.
And yet, even a performer as dark, ominous, brooding, and sinister as Calaway respects that all wrestling can't be dark, ominous, brooding, and sinister, and that, for every Undertaker, there needs to be a Paul Bearer, who began his career as the much less edgy Percy Pringle, who looked like a cross between Brother Love and Jimmy Hart. Talking to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Calaway pointed out just how much he likes the work of Sami Zayn and how “The Honorary Uce” has transformed himself into a vital part of The Bloodline.
“Sami’s character is so intriguing in that whole mix,” says Mark Calaway, who became a legendary figure during his three decades performing as The Undertaker. “It is very clear who The Bloodline is and what they stand for, and they go out and do their deal. But adding Sami, that gives so many more layers. Plus, you have that tension between Sami, The Usos, and Roman. It works so well.”
Much like how Paul Heyman detailed in his post-Survivor Series interview with reporters, Calaway notes that the beauty of Zayn's inclusion into the storyline is not only his boundless personality but also the way he helps the rest of his faction members, namely, how he brings out more emotional depth to the rest of the faction.
“Sami is a vital part of the whole thing, and he’s never been a bigger star,” Calaway says. “But this is also important for The Bloodline. It gives them something new. Roman has been champion for over two years. That means he has to go out and beat everyone he faces, right? That’s tough. But it’s a new dynamic with Sami in there.”
“How can you not enjoy this?” Calaway says. “It’s great storytelling.”
Heyman details how Zayn's decision at WWE Survivor Series wasn't anti-Owens.
Speaking of Heyman, during his post-Survivor Series media availability, Zayn was asked if his efforts at Survivor Series had anything to do with his interactions with Owens in 2016; a question “The Wise Man” wasn't particularly fond of.
“Sir, I disagree with your assessment,” Heyman said as transcribed by EWrestling News. “I don’t find what Sami did to have anything to anything to do with 2016 because that was a story of disloyalty, and I don’t think what Sami Zayn did tonight was disloyal to Kevin Owens. It’s the same thing — in UFC, if two people from the same camp end up going for the heavyweight championship or the middleweight championship, then they’re going to fight. And afterwards, they’re going to say, ‘Hey, we’re on opposite sides of the cage, and we both got paid to fight each other. Sami Zayn was on the opposite side of Kevin Owens tonight. Kevin Owens was on a team. He chose to be on that team!”
Is Heyman's assertion correct? Should Owens hold no ill will toward his former friend for doing what he needed to to get over, or should this particular betrayal be held in different regard because of just how definitive it felt to the characters of both men? Owens said he didn't hold it against Zayn on RAW, where he made an appearance during the first uninterrupted hour of the show, but also said that he has no desire to team with his former partner again. Will that come to pass? Have fans seen the end of Owens and Zayn as a tag team? Or could this all be building towards something even more interesting? Fortunately, it would appear fans won't have to wait too long to find out.
— WWE (@WWE) November 30, 2022