Sami Zayn used to get booed by fans, he was getting bashed by every wrestlers in house shows and live tv. At the start of his storyline with The Bloodline everyone thought this storyline could end in matter of weeks, but nobody would have expected such a huge success.
Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that Sami vs Roman at Elimination Chamber was planned on November or earlier, as they saw Sami getting support from fans and also Montreal is Sami’s hometown. Meltzer also noted at no point they thought this could be as big as it is now until recently.
“Once it caught on big, they did plan for Reigns vs. Zayn, as far back as November or earlier, to be the title match for Montreal, feeling it’s the show between Rumble and Mania and when booked for Montreal, Zayn being in the main event would be huge locally and would come across great on the screen. But at no point until very recently did they think it would be as big as it was.
When it got big, it was made clear that to Paul Levesque as well as Vince McMahon, they weren’t going to change plans because in the end, they didn’t see Zayn as a WrestleMania main eventer. Even Zayn noted in his interview with Ariel Helwani that while he could be in that spot, and even win in that spot (which wasn’t happening at the time, although there are a million ways to change anything if they want to), that he was not the person WWE would make the cornerstone person of the company.”