Sami Zayn recently appeared on Talk is Jericho to talk about various topics. During the interview, Zayn spoke about his NXT Takeover: Dallas match with Shinsuke Nakamura.
“It was a big match. To be honest with you, as far as how it came about, Hunter just told me, ‘hey, listen. We’ve got this big plan. We might do you and Nakamura.’ I said, ‘cool.’ What I didn’t realize at the time was, again, just because of the timing of it all, that I got called up right before in the build up for it, so, actually, it was going to be my last match [in NXT] for all intents and purposes. I might end up doing another match there, but it was the end of my run in NXT. So yeah, it was pretty much the end of my run in NXT and it was the start of his. And those NXT fans are real smart to these things, so they obviously were excited, with good reason, about Nakamura.” Zayn added, “I actually think it’s one of my best matches maybe ever, like, top five or something. I thought it was really, really good. Just a million variables. I think it was really sophisticated in some ways with certain things that most fans won’t pick up on, but, you know, when it comes to protect the character or build a new character or make someone look good, some of the nuances that only workers or veteran guys or producers or whoever, people that know to look for things would spot. And then on top of that, the crowd was just molten, so it was our match to lose.”
Zayn revealed that before NXT Takeover, he never wrestled Nakamura.
I think I met him literally once. And we’ve had very parallel careers. He started [at] the same time as me. I think I started two months before him or something. [Him] 14 years, me 14 years. He was in New Japan. I never worked New Japan, so we never worked. We’ve met maybe once. We never touched and I remember Matt Bloom, who’s head of the [WWE Performance Center] now, was saying, ‘hey, maybe you guys want to get in the PC and spar a little or something like that. I don’t want the first time you guys get in the ring ever, the first time you touch, to be at this big match’. And unbeknownst to me, [Nakamura] said the same thing I said, ‘no, no, no, I prefer that’, which is a dangerous thing, but it’s what I know. Yes, I prefer for the first time to be in the show, instead of a ‘hey, lets feel it out in the ring’ [and] feel how this guy moves and stuff. So we ended up putting something together.”
You can listen to the interview here: