We are now more than 12 hours removed from the events Royal Rumble Last night (Saturday, January 28, 2023) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX, but I can’t stop thinking about everything that happened in the main event.
At a glance, it was a night not unlike many others in the past two years. Roman Reigns successfully defended the WWE Universal Championship, pinning Kevin Owens. But it was much more than that.
He beat and bruised Owens and belittled him, doing it all in front of Sami Zayn. In fact, Zayn was forced to participate and play an active role in it. Then, when it was over, he made Zayn witness the greater destruction of a man Sami had been close to for most of his life.
When it finally became too much, the weight of what he was witnessing to be too much for him to bear, Zen stepped in. He threw away his dignity to plead with Reigns to stop. The bloodline has done enough. Owens finished.
Reigns stops, but only so he can hand the chair over to Zayn and demand that he finish it himself.
Sami, of course, hesitates. You can see, but most importantly feelings, just how to tear it. Owens is like a brother to him – through all the arguments, all the insults, all the fights, all the backstabbing, all of it. And he spent months ignoring it, even actively fighting it, all in the name of courting Reigns and his family.
He just wanted to be accepted. He desperately wanted to be one of them. When Owens told him that would never happen, that it was just a pawn moved across the table with a little more force, a bullet fired and forgotten, Sammy would fight back. He will defend his position.
But how can he defend this?
So he didn’t.
And when he didn’t, an enraged Reigns shoved him in the face, yelled at him, and humiliated him in front of over 50,000 people. Roman demanded a knockout. Zayn, still torn apart, seemed to finally accept him. He looked at Raines and nodded. Reigns turned around and got closer to Owens. Sami raised the chair and made the decision that changed everything:
Oh my God, listen to these people. It was incredibly healing, that chair connecting to Roman’s back and the entire arena exploding with it. It was months in the making, and its impact will reverberate for months to come.
Old chair shot.
There was a lot to this, including Sammy immediately looking for Jey Uso and apologizing for what he did. It’s meaningful not only because of what these two went through with each other but because of Jey’s past with Reigns. But that’s a story for another time.
Right now, I have to go back and watch that chair for the 678th time.