Sami Zayn headlined Night of Champions alongside Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, and Solo Sikoa but Zayn’s mere presence at the show in Saudi Arabia caused a lot of conversation.
Zayn – a Syrian citizen – had not appeared on any WWE Saudi Arabia show since the company entered into a ten-year agreement with the Middle Eastern country in 2018. Syria and Saudi Arabia have been opposed in recent years and only recently restored diplomatic ties as Syria was also welcomed back into the Arab League.
Speaking on WWE’s After The Bell podcast with Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick, Sami Zayn addressed the assumptions made about him not wrestling in Saudi Arabia since 2014 and says the majority of what has been said is not true:
“It was a really, really, really kind of a heavy trip, to be honest. There was a lot that went into it. First of all, the fact that I haven’t been there in a few years, and that there’s been so much speculation as to why I’m not going and what’s the political reasoning, this and that.”
“I won’t get into all of it, but I’ll tell you 99.9% of what you’ve read online about this subject, completely fabricated, people assuming things and then running with those assumptions and adding on to them. It’s wild. I think it’s anytime they can’t get a concrete answer, that’s kind of what tends to happen. I think that’s like human nature, almost.”
Now eyebrows have been raised as the episode of After The Bell Zayn appeared on has been removed with an edited version replacing it that cuts out the WWE Tag Team Champion talking about Saudi Arabia.
At Night of Champions, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were able to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship against Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa as The Bloodline imploded.