Sami Zayn says working with celebrities in the ring has made him get back to basics and improve his skills.
Zayn has recently worked with Logan Paul and is fresh off having a Anything Goes match with Johnny Knoxville at WrestleMania. Despite Knoxville not having any experience wrestling in pro wrestling matches they were able to put on a very good match. This is of course in large part because of how good Zayn is and his ability to lead Knoxville through the match.
In a recent interview with Out of Character with Ryan Satin, Zayn credits a trip to Sweden with teaching him how to handle matches with celebrities. When Zayn went to Sweden he saw they didn’t have any official training and didn’t know basics like the heels shouldn’t be high-fiving the fans.
Sami Zayn Shares His Findings
Sami Zayn shared how the experience made him appreciate how important the fundamentals are to wrestling.
“It made me have to break down the business to the most basic, fundamental, I don’t even want to call it rules, but parameters,” Sami Zayn said. “Let’s talk about a good guy, what’s a good guy? What’s a bad guy? So when you have to articulate that, you re-educate yourself because we get on the handsome wheel ourselves [no I’ve never heard that phrase either], especially on the independents of doing that independent, Ring of Honor style.
You start to see the business this one way, catering to one kind of fan, and then I have to take a step back and look at the business from the ground up, and I’m like, what is a good guy? What is a bad guy? What are we even doing in this ring? What is the point of even getting in this ring? What are we trying to get out of the fans?
We’re trying to make them feel things, we’re trying to take them on a ride. So I re-educated myself and all these lightbulbs started going off for me, also the egos, like damn, I know a lot, I’m good. With Logan [Paul] and Knoxville, one of those things that the ego enjoys is, damn, I know a lot and I only realize how much I know when I have to explain it to someone who knows zero.
Not only that, they’re great performers in their own right so I like bouncing off [of them], especially Knoxville because he’s so creative. Some of the stuff we’ve done, what I’ve really loved about it is building a story to a WrestleMania match in a way that you couldn’t with any other WWE superstar. There’s no other WWE superstar on the roster where the way we’re going to build our WrestleMania match is. I’m going to go to a movie premiere or he’s going to fly my phone number over Los Angeles,” Sami Zayn concluded.
H/T To Wrestling Inc. For Transcription
Zayn Ever Improving And Learning
Sami Zayn is one of the unsung heroes of WWE. He is so talented and always puts on very good matches, but doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Him relearning and re-examining the fundamentals of wrestling is why he is so good and why the match was surprisingly good. Him willing to humble himself and relearn things from the ground up is an invaluable trait.
Zayn did end up losing his match against Knoxville because Knoxville’s Jackass friends interfered and put Zayn into an unexpected handicap match.
Even though Sami Zayn is a millennial he admitted to not being a fan of the millennial classic show, Jackass, prior to the match. Maybe if he was he would have known what to expect from the Jackass star.
“No, I could talk terribly about Knoxville all day and if you had more time I would, but I will point the finger at myself here,” Sami Zayn said. “I will admit to being narrow-minded and missing the point and it’s ironic because of how much I love wrestling. I thought Jackass was just a bunch of guys getting hurt.
This is where me and Kevin [Owens] were very opposite, he loves watching videos of people eating it, getting hurt and he just loves it and I don’t. I don’t like watching people get hurt and I thought Jackass was just a bunch of people getting hurt, I don’t want to watch it. I totally missed the point of the appeal of what Jackass was, which was it was about the buddies and the laughs and the ‘I’ll get you and you get me next and we both laugh about it.’
It’s just fun and I didn’t get it. I never gave it the fair chance. I did watch Jackass Forever and I have watched some old Jackass because I’m scouting my opponent and I was like ‘oh man, I totally missed the point.’ The finger, I point at myself and I’ll admit I was totally wrong about it.”
I Guess Zayn Wasn’t A Fan Of High Art Like Jackass
I find it very surprising that Sami Zayn wasn’t a fan of Jackass growing up. He comes from the backyard wrestling era and you would think a show like that would click for him.
It is funny to think about how working with celebrities has improved Zayn’s wrestling skills. However, the most interesting thing is to think about how working with Knoxville specifically has made Zayn a better pro wrestler. Hopefully now he knows to look out for giant mouse traps.
What did you think of Sami Zayn’s WrestleMania match? Who is another celebrity you would like to see Zayn wrestle next? What do you think of celebrity matches in WWE? Leave a comment and let us know what you would like to see Sami Zayn accomplish this year.