Sami Zayn admits that it’s a “hard pill to swallow” that he’s wasn’t able to defeat Roman Reigns at WWE Elimination Chamber.
Though he’s spent decades in the world of professional wrestling and has achieved plenty of accolades, the top prize in WWE continues to elude him.
After months of alliance with The Bloodline, Sami Zayn finally snapped at the Royal Rumble, hitting Roman Reigns in the back with a chair and severing ties with the group, and with fans firmly in his corner, he got his chance at the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship when he faced Reigns at the Elimination Chamber in his home of Montreal, QC. Though many hoped he would finally triumph, he came up short against Reigns, a loss he admits is hard to deal with.
Speaking in a new interview with Ryan Satin on Out of Character, Sami Zayn opened up about it being hard not to be “the chosen guy” in WWE despite reaching heights that very few have accomplished in the company.
“It was a little hard, you know, if you want the truth. It was a little hard because it’s, and I don’t think I’m being controversial when saying this, but I’m not the chosen guy, obviously. I’ve been handed a lot of opportunities and I’ve delivered on a lot of those opportunities throughout my time in the company and I’m grateful for all of it, but clearly, I mean, I don’t think anyone would say like, ‘Oh, clearly he was being positioned to be the top guy or to be the most popular guy on the show.’ Obviously, that’s not the case, and that’s fine.
“I guess in the back of your head, you’re always banking on your ability to get there, and somehow or another, you just feel like you’ll get there, and then it is hard to get there. It’s almost miraculous to get there, or to get one of these organic runs that the audience sort of wills into existence. You could probably count them on one hand in the last 10 years with Daniel Bryan, Becky Lynch, Kofi Kingston, and myself, and who knows what’s happening with LA Knight, I feel like he’s starting to get a little bit of that right now at the moment, and good for him.
“But all this to say, it’s like a lightning in the bottle type of thing. You don’t get it very often, and then you kind of get it, and you’re like, the story, the audience, your performance, all of it has like almost it’s just gotten you to the exact right place that you dreamed you’d be, and then when you get there, it’s like, you just kind of fall short and you don’t know if you’ll ever get it back. So for sure that’s hard and you don’t know if you can do it again. Like I said, it’s only happened a handful of times in the last 10 years.”
Continuing, Sami Zayn pointed to his connection with the WWE audience, saying that while he was unable to achieve the company’s top prize, he still got a lot out of the experience.
“I still think the investment and the equity that I have with the audience from that storyline, I think I’ve penetrated a lot of hearts to where I’ll stick around there for a while because I’ve made them feel all these feelings that I was just talking about a moment ago. I took them on that ride and when somebody takes you on that ride and they penetrate your heart, they’re in there, and they got to do a lot to get out of there, you know, so now you’re probably going to cheer for him for years to come. So I got a lot out of that story. Don’t get me wrong, it goes without saying.”
“Still A Buck Short” – Sami Zayn On His Loss To Roman Reigns
Sami Zayn then reflected on his future in WWE, saying that if he has another opportunity at the top of the mountain, it won’t feel the same as it did at the Elimination Chamber.
“If and when I do get to that mountain top again, or I get in the title picture and I’m the big challenger, or trying to fulfill my destiny, or whatever it is, it might still get there, but it’ll just have a different feel. It’ll still be part of the overarching story of the character.
“But it just felt like one of those things like man, I forced their hand as much as humanly possible, but still just a buck short, you know, and it was it was a hard pill to swallow, for sure it was, even though you kind of know what the plan is or where things are headed or this and that.
“There’s kind of this hope that you hold on to like, ‘Yeah, but if the crowd is loud enough, and the story is good enough, like, it’s kind of right there’, and it kind of felt like we got right there, about as close as any human being on Earth can get without actually getting there. Like, that’s as close as anyone on Earth has ever come without getting there.
“But it’s fine because getting there on its own is an amazing feat. I mean, what I mean by getting there is not beating Roman, but getting to that match everyone wants you to beat Roman and getting an audience in that frenzy, and experiencing an audience like that, again, being a part of a story like that, very few people on Earth can say that ever done that.”
In a previous interview, Sami Zayn spoke about the impact of his time in The Bloodline, a story he believes will be remembered for the ages.