Sami Zayn reached a personal milestone in the wrestling business as he marked the nineteenth anniversary of his professional wrestling debut.
Zayn took to social media to announce the occasion, Tweeting:
“I had my first wrestling match 19 years ago today. I’ve done well. Thanks to everyone along the way.”
Sami Zayn’s career kicked-off in his native Canada, where he would work for the FLQ promotion under the ring name Stevie McFly. Mere months later the generic luchador El Generico would appear on the independent scene, Generico would make his Ring of Honor debut in 2006. It was in Ring of Honor where Generico became one of the most highly regarded names in American wrestling. His teaming with and then heated rivalry against Kevin Steen [Kevin Owens] was one of ROH’s biggest stories in the late 2000s. Generico would win the ROH Tag Team Titles with Steen along with a reign as ROH World Television Champion.
I had my first wrestling match 19 years ago today. I’ve done well. Thanks to everyone along the way.
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) March 1, 2021
Generico disappeared from Ring of Honor in December of 2012 after losing a ladder war match for the ROH World Championship to Steen. Three months later, Sami Zayn would make his debut for NXT.
Zayn was one of the early success stories of the black and gold brand. He would finally win the NXT Championship from Adrian Neville at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution in December 2014. After celebrating his crowning achievement, he was cruelly attacked by the debuting Kevin Owens – and the two would reignite their bitter rivalry. Zayn would make his last appearance on NXT at NXT TakeOver: Dallas in April 2016, losing to Shinsuke Nakamura.
Zayn would continue his feud with Kevin Owens on the main roster before the two would miraculously reunite in 2017. Marking Zayn’s first heel run with WWE, he would help Owens in his Hell In A Cell bout with Shane McMahon. Zayn would pull Owens off the commentary table as McMahon leaped from the top of the cell. McMahon would crash through the table and ultimately lose the match.
Sami Zayn would win his first championship on the main roster in March of 2020 at the Elimination Chamber event. In a 3-on-1 handicap match Zayn, Cesaro, and Shinsuke Nakamura would defeat Braun Strowman for the Intercontinental Championship. As Zayn was the one who pinned Strowman, he laid claim to the title. Zayn would forfeit the championship after refusing to compete as part of a storyline. Zayn would win back the title in a ladder match against Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles.
The 36-year-old Zayn is currently part of the SmackDown brand in WWE. Zayn was part of the WWE Universal Championship number one contender’s Elimination Chamber match in February 2021. Daniel Bryan would ultimately win the match and gain the title shot. Zayn would be the second person eliminated in the match after being pinned by, none other than, Kevin Owens.
Everyone at Inside The Ropes would like to congratulate Sami Zayn on 19 years in the wrestling business and look forward to many more to come.