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Sami Zayn on why his WrestleMania match with Johnny Knoxville can't be replicated + his thoughts on WWE NXT 2.0

During his interview on "After The Bell with Corey Graves," WWE star Sami Zayn talked about the uniqueness of his match with Johnny Knoxville at WrestleMania 38:

"There's not really a match like that anywhere else because there's only one Johnny Knoxville and one Sami Zayn and one WrestleMania where those things could exist. You can't recreate that match. You just can't recreate that now. For example, you could watch Undertaker-Shawn, and you could be two guys on the independents and you can do your little version of that match. You can't redo the version of this match because it doesn't exist. There’s no other giant hand.”

"I can't build my Hell in a Cell match with Seth Rollins, for example, by flying his phone number over Los Angeles. We got to go so far out of the box. I got kind of addicted to it. I was like, oh, man, here's all these things we can do next. and there's just so much awesome stuff that we could do like him giving out my phone number, and me taking all those calls. I think that's going to be very, very memorable.”

“One of the big things was the red carpet premiere at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood going to the movie premiere. That was such an awesome moment for me. I've never done anything like that before. It was like my Andy Kaufman moment with Dave Letterman. The thing that I find funny is, in this case, I was Andy Kaufman and the wrestler.”

“But it just got me so addicted to transitioning from good match guy to storytelling guy or whatever it is. This was a bit of a light bulb moment like, oh, man, there's so many creative ways I want to do things and I hope I can do them. It's kind of hard sometimes here with the nature of how we do things. But it just got me so excited about the out of the box ways to build a story or tell a story, and things to do, and ways to build your character and all this fun stuff.”

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“I couldn't have done it with anyone else except Johnny Knoxville, because he's not a conventional wrestler. He's not even a conventional celebrity. Like if I was wrestling Leonardo DiCaprio, we wouldn't be doing this stuff. It's because that's what Johnny Knoxville does. He does gags and goofs, and he gets it this way, that way, whatever. So it could only have worked with him. So that was another thing that was a big takeaway for me is the creative way we can go about telling stories and getting character stuff over and doing things that we don't always do. It remains to be seen how much of that I get to do going forward."

His thoughts on NXT 2.0:

"I happened to stumble upon a video or two, one of them was actually today, of myself in NXT very early. I was doing the same thing that these guys in NXT 2.0 we're doing in the beginning, which is just trying to find yourself, especially for me, because I had come from a different background. I was a different character and all this stuff. So I was trying to find my voice, I was trying to find my facial expressions, all that stuff. I was trying to find myself.”

“I kind of don't remember that part of NXT so much, because I tend to remember the later half once that character got a bit more developed. Then we were telling good stories, having good matches, and building NXT to becoming what people now know about NXT. But there was that first little year where I'm there and I'm still kind of finding my footing.”

“Now when I see these guys and girls in NXT 2.0, and I just saw this video today, so today's when I made the connection of like, 'Oh, this is exactly where these guys and girls are now.' Sometimes there might be a tendency to watch something, and in NXT it's different because you're forgiving it because you know they're developing themselves."

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit After The Bell with Corey Graves with a h/t to for the transcription