Sami Zayn on His WWE RAW Return Plans, How His Shoulders Are Doing, Character Change, More

Sami Zayn recently spoke with TVA Sports in Canada and revealed that he’s still dealing with issues related to the torn rotator cuffs that he underwent double shoulder surgery for.

Zayn said he went through many ups & downs during the 9 months he was out of action, and said he has had a lot of inflammation in his shoulders as of late. He also said he’s not quite 100% yet.

“I feel my shoulders and arms heavier than usual,” Zayn said (translated from French via Google Translate). “Even after nine months, I’m not exactly where I would like to be. But just before these recent episodes of inflammation, I felt the best shape I had been in a long time.”

Regarding the heel character that Zayn returned with after WrestleMania 35 last week, it was noted that former WWE writer Robert Evans, who good friends with Zayn, suggested the gimmick change to him. Evans is the writer who reportedly quit at the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony over WrestleMania 35 Weekend. Sami said the character change was initially inspired by his time off.

“It was a little inspired by my [time off]. I realized that I had a lot of bad habits and the [time off] allowed me to see and correct them,” Sami said. “I had some idea and one of them went a step further in the process, but was not accepted. So, I didn’t know what to do, and Robert Evans, who is a good friend, suggested me to become, kind of a critic of the most passionate fans. Then, we decided to add to that, the bad habits that I had developed over the years. I would blame others for that, then I would direct my anger over the habits, to the fans.”

In response to rumors on last week’s RAW promo, Sami confirmed that he wrote it. He said he sat down with an agent and worked on the promo, then it passed the creative approval process. Sami said he has a specific goal in mind for the new character, and he does not want to fall into cliches or become just another heel.

Sami revealed that he wasn’t cleared to return to RAW until the week before. There was talk of bringing him back at tonight’s RAW from Montreal, but he got word that he would be returning on last Monday’s RAW just two or three days before WrestleMania 35. Sami noted that he was first scheduled for a promo, then a backstage segment, then finally the match with WWE Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor, which he lost. That match wasn’t decided until the day of RAW, he said. Sami also said there was talk at one point of having him return at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in late January, but he wasn’t ready.

It was also revealed that Zayn signed a three-year contract with WWE shortly before leaving for surgery last year. He still has around 2.5 years left on the contract due to how they are structured for time off with injuries.

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