Before Sami Zayn made a name for himself in NXT he was known all over the world as El Generico the generic luchador. While wearing a mask, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens had some epic battles and a great partnership as well.
But the battles between the two future WWE Superstars was what really made them stand out as performers.
However, when WWE called Sami Zayn for a job they didn’t want his masked character. Therefore Sami Zayn had to give it up and go back to the drawing board.
The Underdog From The Underground did pretty well for himself as he went on to pick up the NXT Title and he’s not done on the main roster either. As he approaches what could possibly be the biggest program of his career so far in WWE Sami Zayn is better than ever with a new heel persona.
But Zayn will always hold a special place in his heart for the El Generico character and he recently spoke to Edge and Christian on their Pod Of Awesomeness about how hard it was to let the mask go.
“I didn’t really know what the deal was because they sort of scouted me on the independents for my act — that’s what I thought. I thought they saw my act and liked it and kinda hired me to do my act here.”
But it turns out WWE had other plans for Zayn than just bringing El Generico in and have him continue on as the generic luchador under a WWE umbrella.
“I really had no idea. So when I got there and it was time to make pitches for your new work name or whatever it is I would present them these ideas for a list of a masked character or a list for just me. Or you know, I don’t know what they’re going to do with me because I’m Arabic but I have red hair and I look Irish according to everyone I’ve met through the course of my life even though I don’t see it.”
“You know I was pitching all of these names like super Arabic names and then these masked names and these Irish names it was all very confusing for them because I was all over the place, you know?”
“So I didn’t know what direction they were gonna go in but I guess it all played out fine in the end. But there was actually — it was pretty heartbreaking the day they told me, ‘yeah we’re gonna move away from all that.’ It was way harder on me than I thought it was going to be. Because this might sound kinda pathetic but it kinda became my baby, it was my creation, you know? So kinda putting it to rest was way more emotional than I thought it would be.”
“I don’t know if they’ll ever dig it up, but I did a promo back in FCW in Tampa when we had promo days once a week with Dusty Rhodes and I did this kinda promo where I put the character to rest and said goodbye and I got super emotional. And then I lived really close to the facility so I had actually biked to work — so I was biking home just sobbing. Anybody who was driving by just saw this 30-year-old man on a bicycle just crying.”