Although he believes that WWE management wants to suppress him from having another big title run, Sami Zayn beat the odds this week on Friday Night SmackDown when he and King Corbin won their tag team match to qualify for the Universal Championship Contender Match at Elimination Chamber.

When he spoke with Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman on Talking Smack, Zayn oozed sheer confidence that a title match with Reigns is destined to happen at the Elimination Chamber, but he believes their main event match could go either way.

“Paul and I tend to agree on a lot of things,” Sami Zayn began. “I’m sure we have differing opinions on what would happen if Sami Zayn and Roman Reigns faced off for the Universal Championship. That’s fine. I have a lot of respect for what Roman Reigns has become, really. All this stuff I talk about, about toeing the company line and being the sort of corporate poster boy and all of that stuff. Man, I hate to say it, but that was Roman Reigns once upon a time ago. He was the golden goose, and he knew, you know, where his bread was buttered, and he toed the company line.

“But eventually, he realized that the company is breading their butter with Roman Reigns. He realized he was their golden goose, and he started playing them instead of being played by them. So, I respect that. I’m not going to sit here and come on the show and say that, ‘Oh, if I go in the ring with the Universal Champion Roman Reigns, I would plow through him.’ Man to man, head-to-head, on any given night, it could go either way. That’s what I think. But this is a step closer than I’ve gotten in a long, long, long time.”

You can watch Sami Zayn’s full interview on the WWE Network. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talking Smack with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.