Sami Zayn has opened up about the chant he never wants to hear from fans, even if they think he deserves it.
Picture the scene. A long-serving Superstar finally climbs to the top of the WWE mountain and once the initial cheers die down, chants of “You deserve it” echo around the arena. That might sound like a heart-warming image, but not if you’re Sami Zayn.
During an appearance on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette, Zayn explained his dislike for the chant which has become a staple of wrestling shows far and wide. Zayn said that it’s not a matter of deserving anything as everyone works hard, it’s more down to people getting lucky. The former Intercontinental Champion added that when he wins the WWE Championship he’d rather hear “You got lucky” chants instead.
“My favourite chant in wrestling, the ‘you deserve it.’ And I’m like ‘do you? Do you deserve anything?’” Zayn said. “What about believing that chant? You know what? ‘I worked hard and I do deserve it.’ No, I don’t think so. Everyone works hard, with a few exceptions. The biggest source of, what’s the word I’m looking for, malcontent? The thing that leaves me in a state of unease is how amazing my life is and the juxtaposition with how awful life is for so many other people and the sorrow I feel for other people and how I have it so good. It’s not because I deserve it. That’s the point. I don’t deserve it any more than the next person. I don’t.
“I believe it’s just mainly luck. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I worked hard. Whatever. Everybody works hard. And you know what, I’m really great at wrestling. I’m really really good. Not everybody is this good. But a lot of people work hard at a lot of things and don’t get the breaks, and I got breaks. And it’s time to acknowledge that. Don’t ever chant ‘You deserve it’ at me. I don’t want to hear it. I would much rather ‘you got lucky! You got lucky!’ That would be more accurate. That’s a good chant. When I win the WWE Championship, that’s what I want. ‘You got super lucky!’ Not the best chant in the world, but you make it work, people. You make it work. That’s the truth. Hard work, sure, whatever.”
Later on in the conversation, Zayn discussed what it takes to be successful in pro wrestling. Using Roman Reigns as an example, Zayn said that while the individual has to be talented, it takes a team effort to get that person to the top of the industry.
“The individual effort vs. the collective effort,” Zayn said. “You take someone like Roman Reigns, who’s a great example. Roman, no one’s going to say he’s not good, he’s awesome clearly. However, think of how many people it took to get him there. And so that’s the amazing thing about wrestling that I think about all the time, is the dynamic and the duality between the individual and the collective. Because the very individual mindset of like ‘I’ve got to get over, I’m the best, I have to believe I’m the best.’ A little bit of that is WWE conditioning or whatever, like ‘you’ve got to think like you’re the man if you want to be in the top spot.’ It’s all through a lens of sort of dominance, which I won’t even touch all that.”
Zayn closed by surmising that to an extent it doesn’t matter how good a performer may be, they still need someone to work with to progress.
“My point is while we’re talking ‘us, us, us’, you’re relying on the person next to you to get you there. You can be the best, you can cut the best promo in the world. Who are you going to cut a promo on if no one is there to work with you? We need one another to get ahead on an individual level. Just understanding that dynamic I think is important. And again, it’s one of those things that’s reflected in society and in ourselves, but also you see it in the wrestling business. When we talk about ‘that guy’s the best and that guy’s the best’, you have to understand the totality of the picture. That’s all I’m getting at.”
After a lengthy feud with long-time rival Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn fell into the clutches of a returning Finn Balor on a recent episode of SmackDown. As he was in the ring addressing fans, Zayn was shockingly interrupted by Balor who quickly left him laying.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.