As noted, WWE SmackDown Live Superstar Sami Zayn was recently a guest on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeoness. Among other things, Zayn talked about turning heel. Specifically, 'The Stained Unicorn' opened up about working with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, his heel persona, wanting to stay babyface for his entire WWE run, and working in the squared circle as a heel.
According to Zayn, he now understands why McMahon is commonly considered a genius, as his mind really works differently than everyone else. Moreover, while Zayn had a completely different vision for his heel character than McMahon, the former NXT Champion nows that McMahon was right.
"Vince's vision is super-different and I kind of get when people call him a 'genius', I kind of get it in a sense because call it 'genius' or call it whatever you want, but there's no debating that his mind works different than everybody else's does, so everybody else will see things one way and he'll see it one completely different way. So his vision for me as a heel was completely different from how I viewed it, but as soon as I did it for the first week or the second week, and now I've gotten a couple of house shows under my belt, I'm like, 'oh, man. He's so right!' He's right."
On the subject of McMahon, Zayn said he gets to pick McMahon's brain about the heel turn because McMahon is interested in the angle.
"My interactions with Vince have been a little bit more limited because I haven't been involved in as many prominent storylines, so now, this is something that I feel he sunk his teeth into and just getting to pick his brain a tiny bit about how he views the character. But he didn't even get into detail. Like, some of it was just, he would just say, 'smile out there.' I go, 'really? Smile?' He goes, 'big smile out there.' And then, I'd do it and I'm like, 'oh, man! Of course! Like, it's so much more heat than going out there and scowling and being like, 'you guys all did me wrong!'" Zayn explained, "if you're smiling, it's just so much more obnoxious and so much more dislikable. And, again, it's just such a simple thing and you start to see it. Once you execute it and it works, that's like another little lightbulb that goes off in your head."
During the podcast, Zayn described his heel persona is like an ex-girlfriend who is annoying in retrospect.
"I'll try to sum [the character] up as easily as I can. The analogy that I would give is it's almost like when you're dating a girl and she kind of has these quirks, but they're lovable. But once you break up, it's like, 'oh, God! She was so annoying! She would always hog the blankets, she always wanted the room at 65º,' or whatever. Do you know what I mean? Like, the things you used to love about her, now, you hate about her because you don't love her anymore. So it's almost to me, that's where I'm at right now. It's like, the character isn't all-of-a-sudden dying his hair black and wearing eyeliner or something like that. It's just he's the same kind of he, now it just means something different because his intentions are different."
In Zayn's opinion, he was "spinning his wheels" before his heel turn, but uses that as part of his character's motivation.
"I was spinning my wheels, but now you can get mileage out of the fact that you were spinning your wheels. It's more motivation, so nothing goes in the garbage. Everything goes to… you almost need to keep inventory of what you did because you can bring it back around any time to get mileage out of it." Zayn continued, "it's just cool to be challenged because I was spinning my wheels. I was."
Apparently, Zayn was disappointed in making the heel turn because he wanted to be a babyface for his entire pro wrestling career. With that said, 'The Underdog From The Underground' is now "excited" about the possibilities of being a heel, though he remains a bit uncomfortable working as a heel.
"It was kind of a fantasy in the back of my head to one day kind of do the same thing as Steamboat, like have a great career, but have always been like a straight-laced babyface through-and-through, beginning to end. And I've done, like, a good job. I've done tiny, tiny heel stints, but nothing of substance. So, again, it was another one of those little heartbreak moments, but the second it's over, it's like, 'man, what do we do now? There's so much that can be done.' So I'm very, very excited, but in full disclosure, the part that I don't have full confidence in yet, but I'm sure it'll come, is actually working, working, as a heel." Zayn added, "I'm going to need to relearn this a little bit."
LET'S GO! If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Source: E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness