During a recent podcast appearance, Sami Zayn — who became a two-time Intercontinental Champion at Sunday’s Clash of Champions pay-per-view — revealed he had a reputation for being an “annoying” person away from the ring until WWE officials talked to him about his behavior.
As quoted by WrestlingNews.co Monday, Zayn appeared on the latest edition of The New Day: Feel the Power podcast where he looked back on how he used to frequently insert himself into other people’s conversations. This was an issue that had been raised through the years by a number of wrestlers, though as Zayn admitted, WWE ultimately “made [him] aware” of these actions. He added that even though he was in his late 20s at the time he signed with the company, he still had some growing up to do, as his colleagues would see him in a different way than how he saw himself.
“It made me a lot more aware of how my actions are perceived by people who are not me. For example, what I might perceive as fun loving, let’s have some fun chat on the bus might be perceived as annoying. I always only looked through my own lens, but being around these people with all these different points of view starts making you look at yourself through their lens.”
Zayn also explained he eventually learned the difference between the culture in the independent wrestling scene and the culture in major promotions. According to the Friday Night SmackDown superstar, indie wrestlers want to have great matches in the ring but don’t exactly compete against each other to have the best match, as everyone treats each other as “buddies” at the end of the day.
Conversely, the environment in WWE when Zayn joined the promotion was one in which performers treated their colleagues as potential “threats” to their jobs. The Canadian grappler said he had a hard time dealing with this when he was new, though he also acknowledged things have changed in more recent years.
Zayn’s admission of his past backstage heat came a few months after WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson revealed on his podcast that he sometimes had a hard time dealing with him when they worked together. As reported by The Inquisitr, Anderson said he and Zayn butted heads due to the latter’s strong personality, adding they used to argue about the “small things” that come into play in the booking process, such as the number of minutes allotted to a certain match.