Sami Zayn Addresses How Much Creative Control He Has In WWE

As a guest on the latest episode of the Out of Character podcast, Sami Zayn joined to talk about re-signing with the WWE in January.

The former Intercontinental Champion clarified rumors that his current contract involved creative control, stating why he knew it was right to stay with WWE.


"Let me just nip this in the bud, I don't want to act like I'm booking my own stuff, because I'm not," Zayn said. "Trust me, I swing a lot, they'll tell you. I swing a lot and I don't think I swing a lot of duds but sometimes I swing ideas, there's ideas – why, I don't know why – they won't work and they'll tell me that won't work because of X, Y and Z. But a lot of things they'll take and okay it's not exactly how I envisioned it but pieces of it get through, like the documentary for example and they, take on a life of their own.

"Even having a little bit of input, I think that's what's taken my appreciation and my enjoyment of being here in WWE to another level. I'll say 'hey I really wish we could do something like this,' and then some version of it happens and I'm thrilled, I'm over the moon. What more could you ask for? That's it. Just to feel like you have a voice and you're being heard, to actually go out there and do it you feel respected and valued, that's what really kept me here.


"There were other factors for sure but that was it. It wasn't all of a sudden my contracts coming up, it's time for negotiation, 'Hey, hey we really like you, where have you been the last two years?' No no no, the last two years they've shown me they value me so when they want me to stay I believe them so I stayed."

At WrestleMania 38, Zayn faced Jackass star Johnny Knoxville in an Anything Goes match where Knoxville defeated Sami with the help of his Jackass co-stars. After the fallout from WrestleMania, the SmackDown superstar faced Drew McIntyre on this past week's episode of the show.

Continuing to talk about his current situation with the WWE, Sami Zayn mentioned his relationship with WWE writers and how much input he has in his character on screen. The WWE superstar also revealed some insight into what it is like to be on both sides of the spectrum as a talent of being used on television and shoved to the side.

"That's trust, that's earned," Sami Zayn said. "A lot of people, and I've been guilty of this, their pitch is 'yes, I win and I become champion.' Okay, you know who else is pitching that? Everyone else. And there are times where I've pitched that like 'hear me out, hear me out, here's why, it's not for me, it's for...' I did pitch stuff, I pitched leads earlier but that's having the comfort of knowing you're a guy they're going to feature.


"I've been on both sides, I've been pretty prominently featured I'd say since I came up to the main roster. It's happened once or twice where I was just sitting on the sidelines and those were the only times where I was really unhappy here and it would only last two or three weeks. Nothing is worse than feeling unappreciated and unvalued.

"The company is not outwardly trying to spite you and say we don't care about you, go sit in catering. They're not saying that, there's just so much talent and there's so much television time, and sometimes the dominos stack a certain way and you're on the sidelines. It happens to almost everybody, almost everybody has that at one point or another so when you're the guy fighting for inches just trying to get on the show and there's this desperation, it's not fun.

"Now where I'm at the point where I know they're going to put me on the show, I know I can breathe easier and enjoy what I'm doing. Even if I'm doing something that it's not exactly what I've dreamed of but you know what? I'm on the show for 10 minutes tonight and I can make it as good as humanly possible. I'll take that because I'm featured and I feel like I'm a part of the team and I'm helping and that's what I'm here for.


"It's so circumstantial, it's not the same for everybody. The WWE experience, there's no two people that have had it the same, all the people who have come here over the years, no two people have the same experience. Everybody has their own unique curve, everybody has their own ups and downs; everybody has a different experience. It's worked for me but there's also times where it didn't work for me. It's touch and go."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Out of Character with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.