In recent months, Sami Zayn has been doing what he generally does: taking Ls and being totally fine with that. He’s also been demonstrating some … let’s just say, more nebbish-y character traits as of late, and some wrestling fans have been concerned about the direction Zayn seems to be headed. Or not headed, as the case may be. He wasn’t part of the 13-match SummerSlam card, he’s not in a feud or a title pursuit at the moment, and everyone in backstage treatments treats him like a huge nerd.
But he is, of course, taking it all in stride. You would expect no less from the last remaining good guy in all of professional wrestling.
During a recent appearance on Sam Roberts’ podcast, he addressed the criticisms of his new, nebbish character that annoys some fans, and talked about how his WWE character is at sort of a crossroads for the time being. (Transcript via Wrestling Inc.)
“I hate the word ‘annoying’! I don’t know, [the character is] ‘enthusiastic’ perhaps. Well, not to get into the whole thing, but it’s all about the interaction with these other characters, so if you’re going to roll your eyes at me, I’m annoying, but if you find it, like, charming, which it could be, and because it’s aspects of my real life personality, and there have been times, I’m sure, that I’ve annoyed people. And there have been some times, I’m sure, that I’ve charmed some people.” Zayn added, “if you’re going to sell it, so to speak, as endearing, it’s endearing. But if you’re going to have guys rolling their eyes, then, ‘urgh, this guy.’ Then, it’s whatever you make it to be …
“The character is in flux, I would say definitely because there [are] aspects of the character, and I don’t want to drone on and on about this too much, but there [are] aspects of the character that’s about always standing your ground, and fighting the good fight, and always trying to do things the right way, like an upstanding guy. And again, aspects of that were more in display, let’s say, when I was doing a program with Braun Strowman, this insurmountable oppressor, so I was, like, standing up to an oppressor and standing up to tyranny. Right. And then, like a week later, I’m George Costanza, so the character is in this strange sort of position at the moment. Yeah, and exactly, I think there is a balance and I think the balance, the middle ground, is me, the real me, because I am both of those.”
We certainly hope the character solidifies soon, because “quasi-Alvy Singer” isn’t doing anyone any favors. More than that, we hope Zayn actually gets something to do, and in the short term. He’s way too good at everything to be stuck doing nothing.