Sami Zayn: I’ll Be Tied To Johnny Knoxville For The Rest Of My Days And Him Tied To Me

Sami Zayn talks to Fightful how about all things Johnny Knoxville.

Johnny Knoxville and Sami Zayn had one of the most unique matches in WrestleMania history in 2022. The match featured several members of the "Jackass" crew and wacky antics and props such as a giant mouse trap that Knoxville used to pin Sami Zayn and win his first WrestleMania match.

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Speaking about the match with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, Zayn explained that the match was so unique and difficult to replicate that it's one of his proudest moments.

"Very unique. Very unique scenario, very unique circumstance, very unique match, very unique performers. That’s why I enjoyed it so much. It kind of can’t be replicated. It really can’t. Something I’m very very proud of," he said.

At the time, Zayn was a heel and although the WWE Universe has forgiven Sami for his past transgressions, Knoxville remains a hater.

Knoxville recently interrupted Sami Zayn's comedy show as part of the Netflix is a Joke Festival. Zayn says this got him thinking about the match again and all of the things he wanted to do in the build-up to the match that they never got the chance to do.

"I recently did this comedy show as part of Netflix is a Joke Festival, which was fun and was in Los Angeles. Of course, Johnny Knoxville, who I haven’t seen in years, shows up and gets involved in the show. It turned into a whole thing, I don’t want to get into it," he said. "All of this to say, it kind of started getting me thinking about the match with Knoxville again. A lot has been said about the match, which I’m very proud of, but something that gets glossed over is the build-up to the match. People don’t really remember that, and that was some of the most fun and creative stuff I’ve ever done. There was a lot more in the build-up that I wanted to do that we never got to do. There was all kinds of stuff, some of it was pretty crazy. That’s the stuff I remember really investing into."

Furthermore, Zayn said the ability to flex those creative muscles during the program with Knoxville served him well as a nice precursor to what he would do with Roman Reigns and The Bloodline over the course of the year that followed the match with the "Jackass" star.

"That was really a precursor to the Bloodline, quite literally, because that story, the humiliation coming out of that match was what, from a character and storyline perspective, was the fuel for respect that the character needed to seek out the Bloodline," said Zayn. "From a creative perspective, it was the precursor because of the mental energy and creative juices into how to construct a story and how to get us there. A lot of really unique things like him putting out my phone number and me getting calls and answering FaceTime from the fans. There is no other match we’ll do where part of the build to the match is answering calls from fans while in the bathtub. I’ve never done it before, I’ll never do it again. I kind of got addicted to it at one point where I was doing these loops, driving town to town from live event to live event, and the phone wouldn’t stop. It would kill the drive. Three hours, just answering calls.

"I grew to enjoy it because it was an interaction with fans in a way that simply didn’t exist. It never existed before and it will never exist again where you have a wrestler’s number, you call, and he answers," he said. "I would start in character sometimes, ‘What do you want? Stop calling!’ ‘This isn’t Sami Zayn, is it?’ ‘You know it’s Sami Zayn, you called me!’ ‘Oh my God, it’s actually him.’ You would hear the excitement of them getting their friends and family into the room. ‘It’s him, he picked up.’ It was exciting for me to feel their excitement. It’s such a unique thing. I don’t see that happening ever again. I was so lucky to be part of something like that. When it comes to the match itself, there is also the constraints of time, especially with WrestleMania being a heavier show. There were more ideas I wanted to do in respect to the actual match itself, but you don’t get time. I’m still very proud of what came out. In some manner of speaking, I’ll be tied to Johnny Knoxville for the rest of my days and him tied to me, at least in the wrestling world."

As for whether or not Sami Zayn would be open to appearing in a "Jackass" movie, Zayn admits that he and his 2022 WrestleMania foe don't necessarily have the chummy relationship that could easily facilitate a move like that, but it might happen if they were intermediaries involved to sort through the tension.

"We don’t really have that kind of relationship. It would probably have to go through some intermediaries. He doesn’t like me. I don’t really like him," said Zayn. "I also think he’s kind of obsessed with me. He showed up to my show. I haven’t interacted with guy in years. He still stalks my Instagram page. He’s always commenting and insulting me. it’s been years. He’s a bit of a lunatic. A year removed, talking about the bridge from WrestleMania to WrestleMania, you go from one with the stuff with Johnny Knoxville, the next year the Bloodline story caps off in the remarkable way, and Johnny Knoxville showed up to WrestleMania 39, but I guess he wasn’t privy to the fact that things had changed. He was in the stands, and I was seeing some amazing videos of him; he had to be drunk; he was belligerent, for sure; he’s like, ‘You suck, Sami.’ He was getting booed by the entire section.

"It was wild. To go from something like Johnny Knoxville to the Bloodline, which was an emotional story, and then to the Gunther match, which was very special and very unique," Zayn recalled. "That’s the thing I’m really proud of, the diversity and the variety of three special matches but totally different flavors. That’s sort of my calling card, although I don’t think fans have really picked up on that through most of my career. Now, after a couple of good performances and three different situations, fans are picking up on that versatility, which is something I pride myself on."

Fans can read Johnny Knoxville's memories of the match at this link.

Check out the full interview with Sami Zayn in the video embedded at the top of this page.

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