Sami Zayn shocked the WWE Universe when he saved Kevin Owens from a Shane McMahon elbow at WWE Hell in a Cell. Going from the lovable underdog babyface to a dastardly heel was new ground for Zayn in WWE. Now, in a prominent storyline, Sami has had more interactions with Vince McMahon, which has allowed him to see the true genius in his boss.
Appearing on Edge and Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness, Zayn detailed his conversations with Vince and working as a heel.
“(Vince’s) vision for me as a heel was completely different from how I viewed it. Then, as soon as I did it for the first week or the second week and have gotten a couple of house shows under my belt, I’m like, oh man, he’s so right. He’s right.
(Vince) didn’t even get into detail. Some of it, he would just say, ‘Smile out there.’ I go, ‘Really, smile?’ (He said), ‘Big smile out there.’ And then I do it, and it’s like, ‘Oh man. Of course.’ It’s so much more heat than going out there and scowling. If you’re smiling, it’s so much more obnoxious and so much more dislikable. It’s a simple thing, but once you see it and execute it, and it works, it’s another lightbulb that goes off.”
Zayn said that his character is like, “when you’re dating a girl, she has these quirks, but they’re lovable. Once you break up, it’s like, ‘She was so annoying. She always hogged the blanket and she wanted the room at 65 degrees. The things you used to love about her, you hate about her because you don’t love her anymore. To me, that’s where I’m at right now. It’s the same kind of guy, but now everything means something different because his intentions are different.”
Sami also said that he was able to get mileage off the fact that he spent months “spinning his wheels” and was able to incorporate those months into his new heel persona.
As far as his in ring work goes, Sami is still trying to adapt to working as a different character.
“The part that I don’t have full confidence in yet is actually working like a heel,” said Zayn. “I’ve worked one mission in the ring for all these years. Everything I did in the ring was to get (the crowd) behind me. Everything. Every movement, every sell, every move, the way I structured everything was all with the goal to get them behind me because that’s the story we’re trying to tell. Now, talk about a 180. So, I’m gonna need to re-learn this a little bit.”
This past week on SmackDown Live, Sami fell victim to a low blow and RKO at the hands of Randy Orton.