Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn recently spoke with WWE.com about their rivalry. Here are the highlights.
How did you two grow as friends?
ZAYN: I’d say, from our first meeting, we were very like minded in our goals and wants, our passion for this. I think our goals were a little different, but very similar. It was all about ending up here in WWE. I think that’s why we were drawn to each other.
OWENS: I’ve often said that we were more brothers than friends. I still feel this way, regardless of what’s going on. You can’t choose who your brother is. You’re born and whoever is in your family is your family. That’s your blood. That’s the way it is.
What were you feeling after the brutality that went down between you two in NXT eventually led to Sami being out of action for six months?
ZAYN: It was a real mess of emotions. There were a lot of feelings, not just one. There’s the obvious sadness. There’s anger. I also got hurt by his attack. There’s a little feeling of being hell-bent on revenge. I don’t know if it’s a male thing, but a lot of our emotions end up manifesting themselves in the form of anger.
OWENS: I can’t say that I was conflicted, because I feel that what I did had to be done. What I did wasn’t personal. It wasn’t because of Sami or anything in our history. It was because Sami simply happened to win the title, and after waiting as long as I did to get to WWE and NXT, I refused to wait anymore. I refused to be patient and “do the right thing,” whatever that means to people. I’m going to take what I think is mine.
ZAYN: I felt betrayed, sad and hurt. But the longer you sit out and stew, it turns to rage and wanting to exact retribution, pay him back and make him feel all the things you felt. A small part of me also felt foolish, like I should have seen it coming, given our history. We’ve been friends, enemies and everything in between. Part of me thought I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t.. That made it worse. Feeling stupid is a terrible feeling. It [ticks] you off. Anger is the most obvious feeling, but it came down to being hurt and betrayed, being made a fool of. I trusted someone when I shouldn’t have. It’s not a good feeling.
OWENS: I’ve been doing this for 14 years. I’ve clawed my way here and fought for everything I had. I know a lot of people say that, fine. But I have two children and a wife that I have to take care of. I have parents that I need to show that all the sacrifices they made for me to get here were worth it. Why would I wait at the back of the line? Once I did what I did, I felt that it was the right choice. It might seem coldhearted when what I did was essentially stab my best friend in the back, but I would do it again. Anyone who says that I was wrong is full of it or just doesn’t have the guts that I do. It was a business call.