Sami Zayn Suffered A Massive Injury During The Entrance Of His WWE Debut

Much like several stars on the WWE roster, Sami Zayn progressed through "NXT" — becoming "NXT" Champion — before embarking on a main roster run in 2015. His first appearance on one of WWE's main shows really had the audience talking, for better or worse.


The date: May 4, 2015. This specific episode of "WWE Raw" just so happened to be in Montreal, Quebec, Canada -– Zayn's hometown. A mid-episode segment saw the United States Champion at the time, John Cena, come down to the ring and issue an open challenge, with the title hanging in the balance. What made the instance that much more special was WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart coming out to introduce Zayn for his first-ever match on "Raw" in front of an excited Canadian crowd. 

Unfortunately, not everything went as planned for Zayn. Being swept up in the emotion of the moment, Zayn danced around and entered the ring with an extra ferocity that night, so much so that he actually tore his rotator cuff while throwing his arms up in the air to amp up the audience. He then hesitated for a brief moment to analyze the situation before shaking Hart's hand and carrying through with the match against Cena.


Aftermath of the injury

If a viewer didn't outright know that Sami Zayn suffered an injury before the bout, it's unlikely they would notice. Zayn and John Cena still took one another to their limits, despite Zayn admitting in a podcast that he wasn't in good shape throughout the battle. "He gives me a back suplex, and that's when it's out ... My arm was dead, and I couldn't roll, and I think when I finally did roll, it went back in place," said Zayn.


Regardless of the pain, Zayn delivered his signature moves, like the Blue Thunder Bomb, a dive on the outside soaring through the ropes and into a Tornado DDT, as well as a Tope Suicida. But his undeniable heart and abilities in the ring still weren't enough to pull off the victory. While exiting, Zayn received a standing ovation from his hometown crowd, as well as Cena.

He would require surgery on his shoulder, missing seven months of action before making an in-ring return on "NXT" at NXT Takeover: London in December 2015. After a surprise appearance in the 2016 Royal Rumble, Zayn would return to the main roster permanently in March. He spoke with "WWE Deutschland" about the impact his first match with Cena had on him. "That match takes on even more relevance when you consider that John has made it to the cinema and doesn't return often to the ring. It was an incredible experience."


The match in 2015 was Zayn's first bout against Cena, which he will likely remember for a long time due to the range of emotions he experienced that night.