Sami Zayn discusses his new character in WWE.
Last Monday on Raw, Sami Zayn returned to the ring for the first time since June 2018 following double shoulder surgery. Zayn laid out an open challenge, which was answered by Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor. He came up short in the singles bout and after the match, laid into the WWE Universe in a scathing promo that included calling the WWE environment "toxic."
Speaking to TVA Sports, Zayn detailed how he came up with the new character.
"It was a little inspired by my sick leave. I realized that I had a lot of bad habits and the break allowed me to see and correct them. I had some ideas and one of them went a step further in the process, but was not accepted," recalled Zayn. "So I did not know what to do and Robert Evans, who is a good friend, suggested me to become a kind of criticism of the most passionate fans. Then, we decided to add that the bad habits that I had developed over the years, I would blame the amateurs for that, that I would direct my anger to have developed these habits towards the fans."
Zayn was asked how much input he had in the promo he gave last Monday, to which he replied, "I wrote this promo. I had a model of the promo that I wanted. I sat down with an agent and dictated my promo. He wrote it and passed the validation process. I do not know if I am one of those who has this privilege. But that night, I had the chance to say what I personally wrote. Sometimes you say things you do not necessarily want to say in a promo. And sometimes it's more like what you had in mind."
Some viewed the character as a riff on John Oliver and his takedown of WWE in a recent Last Week Tonight segment.
Zayn said his goal "is to have a character who sees more clearly because he has had time at his disposal. outside the bubble that is the WWE, who realizes that his work environment is toxic and who decides to blame the crowd. I do not want to say, for example, that the Canadian did not make the playoffs to make me boo, that's not the way I want to interact with the crowd. I want to find a different, new, more creative and intelligent way than we usually see. It does not matter which city I will be. I want to speak a different language. Because people have seen a heel that blames fans for its problems a million times, but there are also a million ways to do it." He continued, "So even if basically the character seems simple, or even if it's a type of character that we have seen many times, the execution may be different and the way to deliver it may be different too. I'd like to find a more sophisticated way to make that character."
Zayn is expected to be part of tonight's Raw, which is the first night of the WWE Superstar Shake-Up. Fightful will have live coverage of Raw beginning at 8 p.m. ET.