During an interview with Ryan Satin of the Out of Character Podcast during WrestleMania weekend, Sami Zayn joined to talk about his love for the WWE’s ThunderDome and why that was a very important part of his career.

The former NXT Champion mentioned how unpopular that opinion is but spoke to loving his match with Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 36 without fans while also wishing fans were in attendance to see some of the things he was doing near the end of the ThunderDome era.

“I loved the ThunderDome era,” Sami Zayn said. “It’s an unpopular opinion, I know, especially because I love the fans. And I’m not going to say that all the time but I do, I really have a deep love for all of you really. Very profound, really, really it means so much to me and I know how lucky we are to spend this time together, it’s a miracle that we’re all here, it really is so I don’t take that lightly.

“However, not having [the fans] there throughout the ThunderDome opened the door for some new creative ways to do things, which I personally, in my opinion, don’t think we as a company took full advantage of. We still tried to present the show as if fans were there but they weren’t there, especially before the ThunderDome, when it was in the empty PC.

“That’s why some of it felt so weird, and part of the reason why I’m such a fan of my match with Daniel Bryan. I know it’s not exactly what you’d expect when you see on paper: Sami Zayn vs. Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania for the Intercontinental Championship, you’re expecting one thing. I know it wasn’t that and I would’ve loved to have had that, but the thing I’m so proud of is if you watch that match back, it never feels weird like it’s in an empty arena.

“If you watch the rest of WrestleMania, a lot of matches feel really weird that it’s in an empty arena. That again is, in my opinion, part of the missed opportunity to present the show in a slightly different way and a different context now that the biggest piece of the set, which is the fans, the most interactive, unique part of our show aren’t there. They really could’ve put us in a position to change the way we present the product.

“I personality don’t think we took full advantage of it but for me, in my character, I think it gave me room to do more things. I say all of that  in the back of my head because I did love the stuff I was doing with the documentary, I really wonder how the fans would’ve reacted to it if there were fans at the time.

“I really wonder if they would’ve cheered some of it if they would’ve turned me a little bit, even that stuff where I handcuffed myself to the barricade and I was there all night with my protest. How would that have been if fans were actually there? I really don’t know, so that’s the one thing I’ll always wonder about the ThunderDome era, but overall, I have a particular fondness of the ThunderDome era.”

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

Have a news tip or correction? Send it to [email protected]


Sign up for Wrestling Inc. Breaking News Alerts

Instagram iconFollow Wrestling Inc. on Instagram.