Sami Zayn says “those early Saudi Arabia shows felt very not WWE-ish” while talking about his trip

During an interview with Inside The Ropes, Sami Zayn opened up about his trip to Saudi Arabia for WWE Night of Champions…

“That was a pretty big deal for me, for a number of reasons. That whole trip was really remarkable. I guess, on some level, even as a child, being an Arab or Muslim growing up, never really seeing a positive representation of that in media. I always just assumed if I ever got to WWE that I would have to play a terrorist — I don’t know if you can use that, but you know what I’m saying — that was the perception and portrayal of Arabs and Muslims on television, never mind WWE, just in media. It was always sort of a thing in the back of my head, ‘Man, I’d love to change that one day.’ To be able to really embrace that.

The fact that even a major premium live event like that was coming and it wasn’t just like… those early Saudi Arabia shows felt very not WWE-ish. ‘Here is a WWE show taking place somewhere else,’ and we happened to be able to watch it. Now, that was a seamless part of the show. It was a progression in the story with the Bloodline and everything else, and it just happened to be in Saudi Arabia. For that to converge with this wonderful story that I’ve been lucky enough to be part of for the last year, for that to converge with this moment of me being able to come before my people and be there and have that sort of return, under those circumstances, was very special.” (quote courtesy of Jeremy Lambert)