Sami Zayn Talks Working NXT vs Main Roster Events, Weighs-In on Neville as Champ, Who He Wants to Work With & More

sami zaynWWE NXT standout Sami Zayn recently did an interview with Journey of a Frontman, and the following are interview highlights:

Wrestling At WWE Live Events Compared To Full Sail University:

“The Full Sail crowd, it’s a pretty unique and a pretty distinct environment, it’s very close quarters and a bit more of what I’m used to from my days on the independents. But the truth is, I sometimes think that it’s harder to win over a small crowd sometimes than it is to win over a big crowd. The Full Sail crowd is very enthusiastic, but so are the crowds at WWE live events. When you’re in arena with five thousand to ten thousand people, you know that you’ve paid your money to come and have a good time. You’re enthusiastic, you come to make some noise and have some fun. So those are very receptible audiences, they’re very receptive crowds. Whereas sometimes, you work smaller shows in armories or wherever else and it’s in front of 100-150 people. It’s kind of bright in the building. (laughs) They’re almost embarrassed to maybe cheer because you have to really work to get them with you. Full Sail’s nothing like that, obviously, they’re very enthusiastic. But it’s not night and day, really. A crowd’s a crowd and to me, it’s not so much about the size as much it is the energy we’re getting. I’ve worked in front of crowds of two hundred that sounded like a thousand and I’ve worked in front of crowds of five thousand that sounded like two hundred. It really varies with the energy level with any given crowd on any given night. It hasn’t been a huge transformation because you’re really still just doing your thing.”

Adrian Neville As NXT Champion:

“It’s great, I’m not the least bit surprised to be honest. Out of all the competitors, I know him the best and I’m the closest to him. I first met him and wrestled him in 2006, since then we’ve wrestled each other in eight or nine different countries all over the world before either of us even signed to the WWE. We’re longtime friends and longtime rivals in the ring. He’s probably if not my best opponent, one of my best components I’ve ever had in my career. So I’m not the least bit surprised, I’m so aware of what he is capable of. I’m not surprised that he became the champion and that he was able to rise to the occasion every time they’ve asked him to. He’s just unbelievably gifted and unbelievably unique. All you need to do is watch him once to realize what you’re dealing with and you’ll say, “Oh, wow! This guy’s on a whole nother level!” It’s just the beginning, really, because once he gets up on RAW every week and starts getting exposed to more eyes, it’s just a matter of time before he continues that rise to greatness.”

Which NXT Star He’d Like To Work With:

“One guy that I really think is starting to break out slowly is CJ Parker, I think he’s really good. He’s got a tremendous passion for this business. I think the first sort of debut in NXT with this hippie gimmick, he was a good guy, but it was just kind of corny and canned and the fans turned on him. It legitimately broke his heart. And now he has a legitimate chip on his shoulder and his hippie character morphed into more of a socially aware, socially conscious houlier-than-thou character. It’s way grittier and more realistic now. He really puts his heart into what he does and I think he’s gonna be good. And similarly, there’s Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady who are both just phenomenally entertaining. And I really look forward to their growth. I really look forward to watching them. And there’s a couple of guys that have been signs now, but have not yet debuted such as Kevin Steen and KENTA and Fergal Devitt. In my opinion, they are three huge, huge signings. They’re just taking three of the best guys from different corners of the world and bringing them to NXT. If you look back historically, when Vince first did that national expansion from a regional promotion to a national superpower, he did it by finding the best talent in all the territories and taking all the best talent. In a weird way, I feel like that’s what’s going on again now. You’ve got Kevin Steen from Canada, you’ve got Fergal Devitt from Ireland and you’ve got KENTA from Japan. He’s just selecting the best talent worldwide and we’re snatchin’ ‘em up. It’s just gonna make the product better here. These are my guys, these are guys I’ve come up with. So hopefully, we can all spearhead the revolution and be the next generation. We can take this business to an interesting place that maybe it hasn’t been before.”