Non-title Champion vs. Champion Match
Whose secondary men’s title reigns supreme?
The Road to Survivor Series
The recent road is paved with promos from Raw’s United States champion Bobby Lashley (and his Hurt Business manager MVP) and SmackDown’s Intercontinental champion Sami Zayn about who’s the better man with the better belt. They’re fine, but they rarely even merit their own YouTube video from WWE. The most memorable thing about the build is probably how it’s given Zayn an opportunity to work more political commentary into his gimmick:
I hear that as United States Champion, Bobby Lashley is working on a new finishing move called “The American Way”, where he sets up a base on my property, destroys my home, has his friends take whatever is left, then says he did it for freedom & makes me out to be the bad guy. https://t.co/ofQaS3V9mX
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) November 19, 2020
Sami’s promo from last week gets to the match’s other theme, aside from red vs. blue. The Intercontinental champ has aggravated and outsmarted his challengers on Friday nights. The U.S. titleholder has overpowered everyone who’s stepped to him on Mondays. Can guile overcome girth?
That’s a storyline that plays to the real reason any of us have any investment in this Survivor Series bout… the performers themselves and the characters they play.
What’s at stake
Sure, that’s always the case. But since there’s not much else to go on here, it’s the main draw. It’s also put into even more stark relief by the last Lashley/Zayn feud in 2018.
Without getting too deep in the weeds on that program – and hey, let’s talk more about the time Sami made Bobby do an obstacle course and less about, well, you know…
That feud highlighted Zayn’s ability to be entertaining in almost any storyline, and gave WWE justification to use him as an annoyingly funny heel who gets his ass kicked. It proved Lashley was capable of really impressive physical feats, and led to WWE somehow struggling to find a way to work that into their wrestling show.
Seriously, how has a decorated amateur wrestler and overall gifted athlete like our Bobby been featured in two of the most cringey programs in recent Raw history?
Putting Lashley with The Hurt Business is the best thing they’ve done with the Army veteran. But is it a stepping stone to the main event, or just a different way to use him in the mid-card? And will we ever see Zayn in another match like his TakeOver: Dallas showstealer with Shinsuke Nakamura, or any of classics with Kevin Owens? Or is trickster who takes beatings his role for the remainder of his career?
If this is the ceiling for either or both men, there are certainly worse fates. But searching for answers about their futures is probably the most interesting thing about their match tomorrow night (Nov. 22) in ThunderDome.
Let us know what you think, and stick with us all weekend for all things Survivor Series.