Sami Zayn Reflects On Reaction From Montreal Crowd And 2/17 WWE SmackDown Promo

On the February 17 episode of WWE SmackDown, Sami Zayn received a hero's welcome from the Montreal crowd.

Sami, who brought back his old theme song "Worlds Apart," walked down the ramp as the crowd cheered and chanted for over five minutes before Zayn spoke a word. Sami finally spoke, delivering a strong statement in French and telling Roman that it was going to be Roman against Sami and all of Montreal at WWE Elimination Chamber

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Asked by Fightful's Joel Pearl at the WWE Elimination Chamber press conference if there was more he wanted to say in his promo, Zayn replied, "I had a bunch of stuff that I wanted to say, but then you also have to assess the situation you're in and adapt. They were giving me a lot, and I'm not about to stop them if they're doing that, right? That would be a strange choice, as a performer. 'Hey, you're screaming a lot. Let's hit pause on that.' Obviously, we have to roll with it. I think it created a very special, a very memorable reaction, a memorable segment."

He continued, "I don't want to drone on about the Bloodline storyline, but what a magic thing, to have so many memorable segments. We're in the era of content, not just with WWE, but in everything. You have a cell phone in your hand that has access to every piece of information ever, in the palm of your hand, it's insane. What I think is harder than doing something good now, because we have unbelievable talent now. Everybody is pretty good. The bar has been raised. Being good is not good enough anymore. The harder thing to do in the age of content is doing something memorable. Something people are going to remember, never mind in a week or two, that's hard enough on its own, but with this Bloodline thing, if I may be so bold to toot my own horn and our own horn for everybody in front of the camera, behind the camera, and the performers who are executing this. I think we've walked away from this story, and it's not even done, with so many memorable segments, TV segments, that people will remember five, ten years down the road. I hope that Montreal ovation is one of those. It's not every day you see a performer stand in the ring for, somebody timed it, it was like five minutes and 22 seconds. There is a Quebec historian here, Pat Laprade, in the history of the Bell Centre, it's the longest ovation in the history of the building. Uninterrupted ovation. That's pretty special. I think people will remember that. I had to kind of adapt on the fly. There was more that I wanted to say. Part of it was things I wanted to say to say to the city. Part of it was things to advance the storyline. Part of it was touching on what I did with Cody (Rhodes) and acknowledging the self-doubt that I showed on Raw a few days prior, but when you're standing and surrounded by that (ovation), it's like, 'let's just punch them with the good stuff here and take the love that they're giving,' which I very much appreciate."

Fightful Select published the following report on Zayn's promo:

We're told that some that were in the know were expecting somewhat of a different promo to occur, but that Zayn accounted for the crowd reaction and let the segment breathe. There was some panic on the production end, having to edit and black out the "Fuck You Roman" chants. There was also one source that claimed that those in the Gorilla position were confused and expecting a different kind of promo, but we've not had that subsequently confirmed by additional sources. Those that we heard from were very happy with how things ended up, with one longtime producer calling it "special."

Zayn would receive another massive ovation at WWE Elimination Chamber when he challenged Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.

Unfortunately for Zayn and the Montreal crowd, Roman retained the championship.

You can find Zayn's comments on how he was feeling immediately after the match by clicking here.

If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.

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