This is real indeed! Sami Zayn, the beloved French Canadian who left a ginger-bearded hole in our NXT-loving hearts, is making his long-awaited return to wrestling. Well, sort of.
Zayn is scheduled to appear at two upcoming EVOLVE shows in New York as part of two WWN Live EVOLVE iPPVs. Though the initial timetable for Zayn’s recovery from injury was slated for September, it appears that it will be in a non-wrestling capacity.
Sorry everyone who wanted to see Sami Zayn wrestle Earl Cooter. Your dream is gonna have to wait.
Zayn is appearing as part of a not-so-quiet partnership with WWN, which Triple H recently referred to on an industry call as a ‘feeder system’ for NXT. WWE has been drawing from this talent pool for part-time appearances from wrestlers like Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa and cult hero ‘Blue Pants’ Leva Bates. WWE also recently signed independent wrestling star (and your new favorite wrestler) Biff Busick. Upcoming NXT episodes also feature a number of ladies from the SHINE roster, but we’ll let those come around before we spoil anything (spoiler alert recaps will just be three pages of heart emojis).
This flexible partnership allows both companies to mutually benefit in terms of drawing the independent fanbase to WWE’s mainstream shows, and boost ticket and iPPV sales for companies like EVOLVE and SHINE. WWE doesn’t look like they’re plundering the indies, and it gives more exposure to independent wrestlers you don’t see getting their shit in during Wednesday night appearances.
Now if we can just get Hot Sauce Tracy Williams to NXT, everything will be just fine.