After the Royal Rumble, Sami Zayn was probably the hottest and most over act in all of wrestling. His attack on Roman Reigns propelled him into the main event scene.
During this time, Zayn and Reigns fought at Elimination Chamber in Zayn’s city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. However, Reigns walked away with the gold still around his waist.
Zayn acknowledged the defeat was difficult to handle while appearing on Out of Character with Ryan Satin. Many believe that WWE should have called an audible and declared Zayn champion.
“I forced their hand as much as humanly possible, but still just a buck short, you know, and it was a hard pill to swallow… even though you kind of know what the plan is or where things are headed,” Zayn said. “There’s kind of this hope that you hold on to like, ‘Yeah, but if the crowd is loud enough, and the story is good enough, it’s kind of right there,’ and it kind of felt like we got right there, about as close as any human being on Earth can get without actually getting there. But it’s fine because getting there on its own is an amazing feat.
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“What I mean by getting there is not beating Roman, but getting to that match, everyone wants you to beat Roman and getting an audience in that frenzy and experiencing an audience like that, again, being a part of a story like that, very few people on Earth can say they’ve ever done that.
“I don’t have bad things to say about anything involving that story, but if you’re asking me was it a tough pill to swallow to come that close and not quite make it? I’d be lying if I said no, it didn’t bother me at all. For sure, there was a part of me that had problems digesting that.”
Zayn went on to say that it felt like ‘lightning in a bottle’ for his career:
“It’s like a lightning-in-the-bottle type of thing. You don’t get it very often, and then you kind of get it, and you’re like, the story, the audience, your performance, all of it… it’s just gotten you to the exact right place that you dreamed you’d be. Then when you get there, it’s like, you just kind of fall short and you don’t know if you’ll ever get it back. So, for sure that’s hard and you don’t know if you can do it again,” said Zayn.
Sami also said that he got a lot out of the story and the show, no matter how Elimination Chamber turned out.
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