Sami Zayn has revealed the backstage reaction he received when he mentioned AEW on an episode of WWE Raw in May 2019.
Zayn was part of the “electric chair” interview segment with Corey Graves, and was criticising fans’ questions, saying they could ask him about anything, even AEW.
Speaking with Sportskeeda, Zayn spoke about the reaction to the segment, saying:
“So it wasn’t entirely, entirely off the cuff but it was off the cuff to a certain degree, and the reaction was, uh, let’s say unfavorable (laughs) since the electric chair met its demise that very same week.
“So it was right on everybody’s mind. It was super, super fresh and I think they had just announced this TV deal. They had just announced that this wasn’t just going to be a pay-per-view. This is going to be a competitor and all this sort of stuff. And they tell me that we’re doing this segment where it’s legitimately, you know, unplanned questions and anybody could ask anything. So at the time, this was the number one topic in the wrestling world. So you kind of expected to be asked about it.
“What they were going for was that it had a very risky, unpredictable feel to it… As I was out there, I was like, this doesn’t have these vibes, these questions are too sterile. So I felt like it was upon me, it was incumbent upon me, to sort of make it controversial. And the fact that we’re talking about it now, all this time later, you know I hate to say I was right, but I kind of think I was right to do it.”
The AEW mention was edited out of the show so it clearly isn’t something management was happy with, despite Sami Zayn being correct in that it made the segment memorable.