After winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship with the help of Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro against Braun Strowman at Elimination Chamber, Sami Zayn has garnered his first gold on the main roster. Zayn noted during his interview on WWE’s The Bump that throughout his career, he has never really focused on winning championships.
“I’ve never been a guy that cared too much about winning championships,” Zayn proclaimed. “Sometimes, they do have some meaning. Certainly, the Intercontinental Championship had some meaning to me. Like a lot of people from my generation and size, that was the championship that guys like us, guys like me looked at. It was like the work rate title, it was for guys that could go in the ring from Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon, it seemed like the Intercontinental Championship was always about the best matches.
“So, that was the championship [title] that kind of meant the most to me, and it was the one that I kind of wanted to win. It’s also the only one that kind of had some significance to me like if I could only ever win one, that would be the one.”
Since their formation last year, Zayn believes his alliance with Nakamura, and now, Cesaro, has been substantial. He attributes their chemistry from the past matchups he’s had with both of them, throughout his career in NXT.
“It’s been fun for sure,” Zayn began. “I think I’ve done a little to help them, and I think they’ve done a lot to help me. There are some significance and meaning towards teaming with those guys, especially with Cesaro. When I first signed with WWE, I made my first mark in NXT because of the matches I had with Cesaro. So, he was the beginning of my chapter with WWE/NXT. And Nakamura, the match I had with him in NXT, was the final chapter of my time with NXT. So, they’re kind of these two important bookends of a very special time in my career. It’s just fun to be with them now, and we’re having fun out there, which is nice.”
Zayn has always known that he has a knack at entertaining the fans, especially with his microphone skills. However, he never knew this long time talent could arise his or his alliance’s opponents.
“I’m not trying to sound arrogant here, but I surprise myself with my own greatness,” Zayn chuckled. “I mean, I’m really, really good at it. I didn’t really realize how good I was at getting under people’s skin because for the longest time in my career, I was – I think I still am- about doing the right thing. Maybe, my measures are a little different now. But, the message has always been the same thing.
“For the longest time, it was all about being a good guy and doing what’s right, and that’s it. Even with injustice came your way, time after time, you just kind of put your head down and plow through it. Then all of a sudden when you just stop caring about that, or what people think about you, and you just say what’s ever on your mind, it’s just interesting…It’s interesting that I’m unlocking this new skill that I never touched the first 11 years of my career.”
You can watch Zayn’s full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.