Sami Zayn Opens Up About Returning To The Middle East For WWE Night Of Champions

Sami Zayn's match at WWE Night of Champions was more than just another main event in a year that's been full of main events. As Zayn explained on Corey Graves' "After the Bell" podcast, the trip to Saudi Arabia — his first visit to the Middle East since 2016 — was extremely meaningful to him, both personally and professionally.


"I'm Arabic, I'm Muslim," Zayn explained. "That's my part of the world. I understand those people. Those are my people. When I went there, I got to go to Mecca, which is just a surreal experience. And I also saw my uncles that I hadn't seen in 25 years, I had cousins that I hadn't seen in 25 years, I met my great-uncle who I didn't even know existed. So it was pretty heavy in a lot of ways."

In the days before Night of Champions, Zayn took part in an Umrah — a type of pilgrimage to the Islamic holy city of Mecca. At the show itself, Zayn received a massive reception from the crowd when he made his entrance for his match, a tag team championship main event pitting Zayn and Kevin Owens against Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa, wearing traditional Saudi garb.


It was the type of reception he had been waiting a long time to receive, said Zayn, who hadn'tnot wrestled in Saudi Arabia since a WWE house show tour in 2014.

"I always felt like I would have been the natural representative for those shows [in Saudi Arabia] and I just wasn't," he said. "So it was good to finally be put in that position, and in a main event spot, and opposite Roman and Solo, and the story that's kind of been carrying the company for a minute now. It felt like it all just kind of came together perfectly. I couldn't have asked for a better way to go back."