WWE SmackDown star Sami Zayn is the guest on this week’s “Out of Character” podcast, Zayn talked about what it was like to wrestle during the ThunderDome era, improving his social media presence, his match with Johnny Knoxville at WrestleMania and other topics. The interview was recorded at Superstar Axxess before the match with Knoxville.
Here are some of the highlights:
Zayn said he’s tried to elevate his character when the pandemic era started:
“I felt like the stuff I’ve been doing for the last year and a half since post-COVID and ThunderDome era has been some of the best stuff I’ve ever done, certainly character-wise. I’ve just been having so much fun. That’s going to sound extremely arrogant if I say it, but I’m operating on another level. But I’m trying to bring a different aspect to the character that we don’t see in most wrestling characters. I’ve had so many interesting foils on the other side of me. So having Logan, during the whole documentary thing, and then even being opposite Vince McMahon backstage, or being opposite Brock Lesnar, or being opposite Johnny Knoxville, it’s such an eclectic cast of characters.”
Zayn’s thoughts on Thunderdome era:
“I love the Thunderdome era. It’s an unpopular opinion, I know, especially because I love the fans. I’m not going to say that all the time, but I do. I really have a deep love for all of you. However, not having you guys there during the Thunderdome opened the door for some new creative ways to do things, which I personally, in my opinion, don’t think we as a company took full advantage of because we still tried to present the show as if fans were there. So that’s again, in my opinion, a missed opportunity to present the show in a slightly different way in a different context.”
Zayn said he’s been involved more with the creative aspect of his character, but he is not booking his own material:
“Let me just nip this in the bud. I don’t want to act like I’m booking my own stuff because I’m not. But I swing a lot and I don’t think I swing a lot of duds, but sometimes I swing ideas that there’s reasons why I don’t know why they won’t work, and sometimes they tell me that won’t work because of XYZ. But a lot of things they’ll take and okay, it’s not exactly how I envisioned it, but pieces of it get through. Having even a little bit of creative input, I think that’s what’s really taken my appreciation and my enjoyment of being here in WWE to another level is I’ll say, ‘Hey, I really wish we could kind of do this’, and then some version of it happens and I’m thrilled. I’m over the moon. What more could you ask? To just feel like you have a voice and you’re feeling heard, and then when you actually go out there and do it, you feel respected and valued. That’s really what kept me here.”