Zayn was trained by Jerry Tuite and Savio Vega. He made his wrestling debut in Quebec as Stevie McFly. He later changed his name to El Generico. It was through independent promotions that Zayn became a household name and gained initial success. Zayn made his name by wrestling on the independent circuits for a decade before signing with WWE.
Zayn wrestled for several promotions between 2002-2013 such as DDT Pro Wrestling, Chikara, EWR, GBG Wrestling, ROH, IWS, Dragon Gate, Evolve, PWG, and WXW. Zayn began the most talked about rivalry with his best friend, Kevin Steen, which crossed several promotions, such as ROH and WWE.
Zayn signed with WWE and began working for NXT. Zayn was an immediate baby face and won several matches. Zayn began a rivalry with Cesaro, which he won. After losing several championship matches, Zayn captured the NXT Championship from Neville at TakeOver R Evolution.
The show ended when Kevin Owens attacked Zayn and reignited their rivalry. Zayn lost the title in two months due to referee stoppage. Zayn made his RAW debut in Canada to face US Champion John Cena. Before the match, Zayn suffered a shoulder injury. The match ended and Zayn was sidelined for a few months.
Rivalry with Owens and SmackDown (2016-2018)
At Royal Rumble, Zayn returned and eliminated Kevin Owens. The two began their rivalry with each superstar gaining victories over each other. At Battleground, Zayn defeated Owens and ended their rivalry. Zayn began his rivalry with Chris Jericho. At Clash of Champions, Zayn lost to Jericho due to interference by Owens.
After Royal Rumble 2017, Zayn began his rivalry with Braun Strowman and lost. Zayn faced Samoa Joe at Fastlane and lost. On RAW, Zayn defeated Owens in a no disqualification match to save his job and qualified for Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33, which he lost.
At Superstar Shake-Up, Zayn was drafted to SmackDown. Zayn took part in the Money in the Bank ladder match and lost. Zayn returned at Hell in A Cell and assisted Kevin Owens against Shane McMahon. At Clash of Champions, Zayn and Owens defeated Nakamura and Orton. At Royal Rumble 2018, they failed to capture WWE Championship from AJ Styles. The same night, Zayn entered the rumble and lost.
In March, Zayn and Ownes attacked SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan, which started their feud. At WrestleMania 34, Zayn and Owens faced Bryan and McMahon and lost. The two were hired by Stephanie McMahon on RAW.
Various Feuds and Intercontinental Championship (2018-2020)
On RAW, Zayn began his feud with Bobby Lashley. After a few losses, the rivalry was ended. Zayn was out of action for over 10 months. Zayn lost fifteen out of sixteen matches since his return and was frustrated. Zayn teamed up with Nakamura and became his manager for the year. He introduces the new Intercontinental Championship to Nakamura. Cesar joined the group and assisted Nakamura to keep the title.
Intercontinental Championship and Conspiracy Theories (2020-Present)
After Nakamura lost the title to Strowman, the trio faced Strowman for the title at Elimination Chamber in a 3-1 handicap match. Zayn, Nakamura, and Cesaro won, but Zayn was crowned as the new Intercontinental Champion. Zayn defeated Daniel Bryan to retain his title at WrestleMania 36. Zayn took some time off due to the ongoing situation.
Zayn made his return in August and attacked Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy. At Clash of Champions, Zayn defeated Styles and Hardy to become the Undisputed Intercontinental Champion. Zayn dropped the title to Big E on SmackDown. Zayn spent the year facing The Mysterios. Zayn won a battle royal to challenge for the Universal Championship and lost.
In 2022, Zayn began feuding with Johnny Knoxville. On SmackDown, Zayn won his third Intercontinental Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura. However, Zayn lost the title in a few weeks to Ricochet. At WrestleMania 38, Knoxville defeated Zayn.
Currently, Sami Zayn is involved in the Bloodline storyline, where he has been helping Bloodline in various ways.