“My favorite chant in wrestling, the ‘you deserve it.’ And I’m like ‘do you? Do you deserve anything?'” Zayn said. “What about believing that chant? You know what? ‘I worked hard and I do deserve it.’ No, I don’t think so. Everyone works hard, with a few exceptions. The biggest source of, what’s the word I’m looking for, malcontent? The thing that leaves me in a state of unease is how amazing my life is and the juxtaposition with how awful life is for so many other people and the sorrow I feel for other people and how I have it so good. It’s not because I deserve it. That’s the point. I don’t deserve it any more than the next person. I don’t.
“I believe it’s just mainly luck. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I worked hard. Whatever. Everybody works hard. And you know what, I’m really great at wrestling. I’m really really good. Not everybody is this good. But a lot of people work hard at a lot of things and don’t get the breaks, and I got breaks. And it’s time to acknowledge that. Don’t ever chant ‘You deserve it’ at me. I don’t want to hear it. I would much rather ‘you got lucky! You got lucky!’ That would be more accurate. That’s a good chant. When I win the WWE Championship, that’s what I want. ‘You got super lucky!’ Not the best chant in the world, but you make it work, people. You make it work. That’s the truth. Hard work, sure, whatever.”
Throughout the podcast Zayn talked about his philosophy on pro wrestling, while trying to take a deeper look into the business with Paquette. By the end of the podcast, he summed up his overall point.
“The individual effort vs. the collective effort,” Zayn said. “You take someone like Roman Reigns, who’s a great example. Roman, no one’s going to say he’s not good, he’s awesome clearly. However, think of how many people it took to get him there. And so that’s the amazing thing about wrestling that I think about all the time, is the dynamic and the duality between the individual and the collective. Because the very individual mindset of like ‘I’ve got to get over, I’m the best, I have to believe I’m the best.’ A little bit of that is WWE conditioning or whatever, like ‘you’ve got to think like you’re the man if you want to be in the top spot.’ It’s all through a lens of sort of dominance, which I won’t even touch all that.
“My point is while we’re talking ‘us, us, us’, you’re relying on the person next to you to get you there. You can be the best, you can cut the best promo in the world. Who are you going to cut a promo on if no one is there to work with you? We need one another to get ahead on an individual level. Just understanding that dynamic I think is important. And again, it’s one of those things that’s reflected in society and in ourselves, but also you see it in the wrestling business. When we talk about ‘that guy’s the best and that guy’s the best’, you have to understand the totality of the picture. That’s all I’m getting at.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription