Throughout his decades-long career, Sami Zayn has faced some of the most highly regarded names in wrestling. During his time on the independent scene, he was well known for his feuds with Kevin Owens (then known as Kevin Steen), and since his WWE debut, he’s shared the ring and had incredible bouts with the likes of Owens, Claudio Castagnoli, Shinsuke Nakamura, and he even faced John Cena in a United States Open Challenge.
However, according to Sami Zayn, his favorite match of his career took place at WWE WrestleMania 38 when he took on Jackass star Johnny Knoxville. Speaking to WWE Deutchland, he explained why it was so special to him to put on such a high caliber match with someone not trained to be a professional wrestler.
“It’s one of my favorite matches ever. I don’t think a lot of people understand the little things you have to do to make sure it flows so well with someone who’s never done this. So I take a lot of pride in that side of it. … I put it up there with some of my best matches ever, but for different reasons.” (h/t WrestlingInc)
Sami Zayn and Johnny Knoxville feuded for months prior to their WrestleMania 38 bout
The feud between Sami Zayn and Johnny Knoxville began on WWE SmackDown at the beginning of 2022 when Knoxville threw Zayn over the top rope to qualify for January’s Royal Rumble. Tensions continued to rise with Sami Zayn being kicked out of the premiere of Jackass Forever, and Knoxville releasing Zayn’s personal phone number on social media.
Knoxville then challenged Zayn to a match for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 38, and while Zayn lost the title to Ricochet before the event, the two still engaged an an Anything Goes match on the Grandest Stage Of Them All.
The WrestleMania 38 bout didn’t disappoint fans of Jackass shenanigans and featured a bowling ball, an appearance from Party Boy, the legendary Jackass hand, and Wee Man delivering a bodyslam to Sami Zayn. In the end, Zayn was caught in a giant mousetrap and pinned, and the Jackass crew stood in the ring to celebrate Knoxville’s victory.
In the past, Zayn has called the bout his “Andy Kaufman moment,” alluding to Jerry Lawler’s famous feud with actor Andy Kaufman.