During a RAW segment the day after AEW Double or Nothing in May 2019, Sami Zayn ridiculed fans for asking him easy questions in a one-off electric chair segment.
Since AEW’s inception in 2019, WWE has rarely acknowledged its opposing promotion on its weekly programs. Allusions to All Elite storylines have been made here and there, but blunt name-drops are scarce.
That said, there has been one unscripted and straightforward reference to the white and gold wrestling company when Zayn decided to invoke the brand in his now-defunct segment.
“You could’ve asked me anything,” Zayn said on a live RAW microphone. “You could have asked me about AEW!”
While many have debated whether the AEW name-drop was planned or not, Sam Zayn spoke to Cultaholic and set the record straight.
“What happened is the timing of that is sometimes forgotten,” Zayn said. “You’re referring to the electric chair segment which was a totally unscripted segment. The timing of that segment was very interesting because it was the next day after AEW had just had their first-ever pay-per-view. It was a very hot topic at the time. It was hot off the heels of their first pay-per-view and it was hot off the announcement that AEW was going to be a company.
“It was so new and so fresh and we felt that it was going to be on everybody’s minds. I felt like it was bound to come up, and it kind of weirdly didn’t. At that point in the segment, some of the questions I thought would’ve been a lot more provocative because it was unscripted. While I was out there, I felt like a lot of the questions were a bit flat. Me using my judgment, I figured this needed some pizzazz, so I brought it up myself.”
WWE went in planning for the segment to be a free for all, but they did not anticipate Zayn being the catalyst for any controversy. Regardless of any pushback, Zayn noted the segment’s timeliness three years removed is why he doesn’t regret it.
“When I got back it wasn’t so much that it came up, but the way it came up. The way I sort of addressed it, when it wasn’t really needed to be addressed,” Zayn said. “All this to say that in my defense, the fact that we’re still talking about it three years later tells me that my instincts were right. We needed something memorable to make this a shocking segment, but unfortunately, that was the death-blow of the electric chair segment because it was never to be repeated again.”
Sami Zayn takes on Johnny Knoxville on Night 2 of WrestleMania 38.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Cultaholic with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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