Sami Zayn on Working in NXT, How Wrestling Has Changed, What’s Next After Payback

WWE Superstar Sami Zayn recently spoke with Kevin Coffey for, talking about the evolution of wrestling, what’s in store for him on the WWE main roster, and more. You can read some highlights below:

Sami Zayn talks about how the fans have changed over time: 

There’s people like you, like me who grew up watching Randy Savage and Bret Hart. Those are the guys we grew up watching. Then there are the guys who watched them like Steve Austin and Mick Foley. It’s funny how the generations really change and morph.

You’re seeing that on the roster as well. It is completely unrecognizable to 10 years ago. That’s why it’s this new era. This is a new generation. It’s my generation. We’re gonna do it right. We’re gonna make these fans have a reason to cheer.

Zayn comments on how wrestling itself changed too: 

That’s the nature of the beast. It evolves. It’s really a reflection of the time. You look back at that time when wrestling was red hot with Steve Austin, the Undertaker, Triple H, how great it was and edgy it was. That was the climate in the world at that time around 1998 or 1999. You had the Bill Clinton sex scandal and “South Park” and Jerry Springer. That was the way the world was in those years.

WWE reflected that accordingly. Now I think it’s the exact same deal. Times change and so does the WWE.

Sami talks about his experience with the NXT brand: 

It’s funny. When I got signed to WWE … NXT wasn’t a relevant product. It was really just a developmental territory.

I had this feeling inside of me that anywhere I worked had to be relevant. I wanted to work for those promotions that had a buzz. I wanted NXT to have that buzz. I think I kind of helped with that in developing that for NXT.

I learned so much. If I would have been offered to go straight to WWE right after being signed, I would have taken it. But I am so much better for having done it the hard way, the right way, the long way. I’m so much better of a performer.

How does Sami Zayn warm up for a match? 

The first part of my career, I tried to psych myself up. I don’t think it’s that good for you. You end up getting nerves.

As I got a little later in my career, I started keeping it real loose and not getting in my head. I try to stay loosey goosey, you know? The only difference now is after tearing out my shoulder and getting surgery, I really have to warm up my shoulder.

What’s next for him in WWE?

If you caught “Raw” the other night, the story between Kevin Owens and I isn’t over. It might never be over. I do have my sights set on the Intercontinental Championship now. My heroes all held that title. It’s a title I always dreamed of winning.

Even after a long career, I’m really only just getting started now. It’s crazy to think. I’m really looking forward to this journey. Hopefully the fans come along with me.

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