WWE News: Sami Zayn on wanting to change the perception about Arabs, WWE providing him a platform to succeed
Zayn feels that he was in a unique position to reestablish how Arabs were perceived in western media when he joined the WWE.
What’s the story?
WWE superstar Sami Zayn recently appeared in an interview with ESPN where he discussed how he wanted to change the general perception about Arabs in the eyes of people and also spoke about the platform he has received by being part of the WWE.
In case you didn’t know…
Zayn’s real name is Rami Zebei and he is a Canadian national of Syrian descent. Before joining the WWE in 2013, he wrestled for a number of different promotions all over the world such as Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Ring of Honor, Chikara, Dragon Gate USA and Evolve among others under the ring name ‘El Generico’. In his initial days at NXT, ‘The Underdog From The Underground’ wrestled using his real name but took up the name ‘Sami Zayn’ prior to his televised debut.
The heart of the matter
According to Sami Zayn, being in the WWE has allowed him to work towards changing the general perception about Arabs in the Western media. He remembered watching movies as a kid wherein a stereotype had been established around Arabs which was nowhere near to the truth. By being himself in the ring, Zayn hopes he can make people realise that they are not very different.
Here’s what the former NXT Champion had to say:
“It's definitely a sensitive topic to discuss, but I have felt since I signed with the WWE I was in a unique position to reestablish how Arabs were perceived in the WWE and western media.
Ever since I was a kid and growing up and watching things like the 'Naked Gun' movies, there was always this stereotype about how Arabs were perceived and portrayed. I've never watched those Arab villains in the movie and felt like that was me.
They were nothing like me, and now I get to just be me -- and hopefully being me strikes a chord with a lot of young Arabs and non-Arabs, honestly. We're really not all that different.”
On the huge platform that he has received by working with the WWE, Sami Zayn said that it puts him in a position which demands him to be at his best, irrespective of whether or not he wants to be a role model. Zayn was quoted as saying this:
“The impact this company has overseas is overwhelming at times, but it's like the old expression: 'With great power comes great responsibility. With a platform that big, and with an opportunity this big, whether you want to be a role model or not, this puts you in a position where you have to be your best; it's really your duty to be the best that you can be.”
Sami Zayn came very close to winning the WWE United States Championship from Chris Jericho on Raw this week but was denied courtesy of an interference from WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens. However, he is most likely to get another title shot perhaps at the upcoming Fastlane pay-per-view.
Zayn is too talented a wrestler to not have won a single title since making his main roster debut last year. The WWE should definitely look at finally giving him a taste of championship gold in the form of the U.S. title before he moves on to bigger things.
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