Sami Zayn was once known as El Generico when he was in ROH and traveled the world making a name for himself in the indie wrestling scene. He participated in many wars with Kevin Owens during that time and some fans still miss seeing the masked character.
“I didn’t really know what the deal was because they sort of scouted me on the independents for my act — that’s what I thought. I thought they saw my act and liked it and kinda hired me to do my act here.”
However, it turned out that WWE had much different plans for the man soon to be known as Sami Zayn
“I really had no idea. So when I got there and it was time to make pitches for your new work name or whatever it is I would present them these ideas for a list of a masked character or a list for just me. Or you know, I don’t know what they’re going to do with me because I’m Arabic but I have red hair and I look Irish according to everyone I’ve met through the course of my life even though I don’t see it.”
“You know I was pitching all of these names like super Arabic names and then these masked names and these Irish names it was all very confusing for them because I was all over the place, you know?”
“So I didn’t know what direction they were gonna go in but I guess it all played out fine in the end. But there was actually — it was pretty heartbreaking the day they told me, ‘yeah we’re gonna move away from all that.’ It was way harder on me than I thought it was going to be. Because this might sound kinda pathetic but it kinda became my baby, it was my creation, you know? So kinda putting it to rest was way more emotional than I thought it would be.”
“I don’t know if they’ll ever dig it up, but I did a promo back in FCW in Tampa when we had promo days once a week with Dusty Rhodes and I did this kinda promo where I put the character to rest and said goodbye and I got super emotional. And then I lived really close to the facility so I had actually biked to work — so I was biking home just sobbing. Anybody who was driving by just saw this 30-year-old man on a bicycle just crying.”
It had to be difficult for Zayn to bid farewell to his old friend. Even though it was just a mask, that El Generico gimmick helped him attain worldwide notoriety. But he was finally able to find his stride and make it on his own using his own face. However, I can’t help but wonder if that was really the last time we’ve seen Zayn wrestle as the generic luchador.
Catch up on some of the latest WWE news stories below:
- Hulk Hogan getting a makeover?
- Bully Ray has another message for the Impact Wrestling locker room
- Kevin Owens’ wife provides an update
- WWE looking at other options besides John Cena as special referee for Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal
- Paige had something to say about Alexa Bliss’ promo on Raw