Originally published at Sami Zayn details conversation with Triple H about WWE Elimination Chamber press conference
Zayn chats match against Reigns at Elimination Chamber and provides an injury update.
On the road to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens becoming Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions in the main event of WrestleMania 39, Zayn challenged Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title. The match took place in Zayn’s home city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada at Elimination Chamber.
He was on the losing end of the bout and afterwards, he spoke at the post-show press conference. Zayn said he felt strange and admitted he was disappointed.
He looked back on that press conference while speaking to Ryan Satin on the Out of Character podcast. Zayn shared that Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque spoke to him several days after and wanted to know ‘what was with’ Zayn at the presser. He expressed to Sami that he had to think about what the audience saw that night and how hyped everyone was. Zayn further admitted he was disappointed, but he understood where Levesque was coming from.
I’m always seeing it through my lens and I hope I’m not saying something I shouldn’t be saying here but when I did that press conference (after Elimination Chamber), if you go back and watch it, the first half of it especially, because I was — those are legitimate feelings. I was disappointed and I really genuinely felt like I let the city down because man, if you were in that arena, it was a buzz unlike — I mean, the closest thing I can compare it to is Survivor Series ‘97. It really felt like some historic — the whole city was just onboard and then losing just sucked the life out of them and it was really deflating and I was right off the heels of experiencing that and that disappointment and that sting that we’re talking about and I go and do this press conference right after that and I’m answering as I’m answering you now. I always answer very truthfully and I know sometimes it’s not the answers people wanna hear, but I believe in just not BS’ing and just answering truthfully. That’s my interview style and I don’t know (Zayn laughed). For better, for worse, that’s what I went with this long in my career and that’s what I continue to do. So I was asked questions and I answered honestly and I was feeling that funk a little bit and Hunter talked to me a day or two later and he was like, ‘Dude, what was with you in that press conference? You were such a downer. You gotta think of what those people saw. Those people just saw the culmination of this amazing story for the last year and they saw one of the most electric crowds ever and the whole night was amazing and you brought it down with that interview’ and I kind of saw his point actually because I was looking at it through my lens and then again, I am the one answering the questions but, it is true. If I step out of that disappointment for a week, people still talk to me about that match, people still talk about the atmosphere in that building. People still talk about whether I should’ve won, whether I shouldn’t have won. It’s like this amazing point of contention that fans go back and talk about. It was just a historic match and it was the hottest match — I mean, man I can’t remember the time I’ve seen a crowd that hot for a match or a city that onboard in such a real sports team kind of way. It was monumental and I’m just hung up on, but yeah, I lost, you know? So of course, I’m carrying some of those feelings with me but again, what Hunter said was true. If you’re just a fan, you got to see something incredible, and so that also helped me alter my state a little bit. That in conjunction with main eventing WrestleMania (he laughed). It kind of got me thinking, you know, yeah, he’s right. That was super special and I knew while I was doing it that it was special. I knew but, it’s just hard to untangle the feeling of disappointment that comes along with it. I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m expressing this correctly. I knew it was special, I knew it’s amazing, I knew how lucky I am to be in these shoes but there’s still that part of you that goes, but man! So close! But not quite and it’s just hard to compartmentalize that and go, hey man, let’s focus on what you got to do in the moment. So that’s what talking to Hunter and again, main eventing WrestleMania a few weeks later, really helped put into perspective how special that all was.
Zayn went on to add that main eventing WrestleMania weeks later softened the blow of losing to Reigns in Montreal.
Greatly (headlining WrestleMania 39 helped softened the blow of losing to Roman Reigns at Elimination Chamber). Yes. Now that, let me tell you, that softened the blow a lot. A lot, a lot. But you know, at the time, I also didn’t know it. I only found out a little bit after that and I was like, oh! Okay. It’s fine. Actually, to be honest, even that night, by the end of the night I was — that’s not true. I didn’t bounce back and kick out of it right away. It still lingered a little bit; this feeling of whatever you wanna call it, disappointment. I’d be lying if I said that went away overnight. But absolutely, the fact that I got to main event WrestleMania and win on top of it all in this really historic match where the tag titles were the main event, that’s never been done in history. Again, that’s a real testament to the storyline because that’s almost harder to do that main eventing in a singles story, because you’re breaking ground on something that just didn’t exist before, much like the ladies Becky (Lynch) and Ronda (Rousey) and Charlotte (Flair) main evented WrestleMania a few years ago. They carved out a space that didn’t exist before and while that was even a little more historic because it transcended gender limitations and things like that-that we never expected, this still did something slightly akin to that because it carved out something that didn’t exist before and that’s very, very special and it was the story that did that so that’s very, very special, and it still ended in triumph for me as a character which was very, very special. So for sure, I cannot tell you how much that eased the sting of losing in Montreal. I mean yeah, yeah, it helped a lot.
This past Monday on WWE Raw, Michael Cole confirmed on commentary that Zayn is dealing with traumatic olecranon bursitis. Zayn provided an update on his elbow and said he’s had a lot of issues he’s powered through. He stated that the elbow injury is a nagging issue, but it’s nothing that’s severe enough to sideline him and he’ll be fine.
I’m wearing a compression sleeve it on it now (his elbow) but I think you can still kind of see — can you see the ball or not really? It’s not great and actually, I’ve had a lot of issues, I guess for a while that you’re just kind of battling through. It’s funny, you know, I watch sports, like hockey players or whatever, especially in the playoffs. After the playoffs are done and I don’t know how much this happens in other sports but hockey’s particularly aggressive and the schedule is grueling and everything like that so once the playoffs are done, you’ll be like, oh, this guy was playing through a broken sternum and three broken fingers and cracked tibia, you know, whatever, all these insane injuries that they’re playing through but as a fan and as a viewer, I’m just watching and I’m like, well, I just assume that everything’s fine. So, I’ve been battling a lot of little nagging injuries for some time but nothing to the extent that would put me on the shelf so this is part of a nagging injury that’s just kind of gotten a little bit worse after this past week’s heinous attacks by J.D. McDonagh for which there will be revenge but that’s a whole other thing but yeah, there’s been some little injuries but knock on wood, thank God, I’m pretty healthy overall and I don’t know, you start to think about this stuff a little bit more as you get older and you’ve been doing it for 21 years and you’re like, oh wait, there’s definitely not another 21 on the backside of this. So you’re definitely closer to the end than the beginning so maintaining your health and addressing those nagging injuries I think does become more important. But, I still manage to give you a long-winded answer to a very easy question. My elbow’s alright, it’ll be okay. It’s not great but it will be okay.
At the conclusion of 8/14 Raw, Zayn and Cody Rhodes were beaten down by J.D. McDonagh and Judgment Day (Finn Bálor, Dominik Mysterio, Rhea Ripley & Damian Priest).
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Out of Character with Ryan Satin with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.