This was filmed on December 13th, 2015
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at two hours and nine minutes long
The interview starts with Sami filming Feinstein’s dog bite before going into his interview from three years ago as part of the “Wrestling’s Best Unsigned Talent” series with Rich Swann. I also have to note that Sami is using chewing tobacco and throughout the shoot spits it into a bottle. Sami talks about his recent appearances at PWG and CZW. He speaks fast by the way. He then said he has barely slept over the last two days, saying Masada kept him up to 8am the night before. That and the energy drinks he has could be making him that way too.
He tells a story about messing with younger wrestlers. Sami said that ZZ from “Tough Enough” introduced himself at the Performance Center. Sami then complimented him on his shoes and told ZZ to give them to him and as ZZ went to take off his shoes, Sami told ZZ he was just joking around, leading Sami to talk about how he likes to do the same thing to people at malls because he loves the reactions from people. He then tosses over a camera to wrestle David Starr, instructing him to film random things during the interview for some upcoming project.
Rob asks Sami about being a regular for Dragon Gate USA in 2012 and how he felt about being a star for the promotion. Sami gives us a backstory and said before this, he was starting to get buzz on the indy scene. He stated he probably could have went there or to Ring of Honor. He noted that Gabe Sapolsky did not see anything special in him until at the 3rd EVOLVE show in 2010 when he had a really good eight-minute match against Adam Cole and after that he built a relationship with Gabe to the point he was anointed part of the locker room leaders along with Johnny Gargano. Sami said Gabe told them they would be the “Punk and Danielson” of the Dragon Gate locker room. He talks about Gargano being more reversed as he is standoffish.
From that, Sami talks about his match against Fit Finlay (From EVOLVE 9 in 2011) and how that got him some buzz within the WWE. Sami said that Curt Hawkins called him up and said that the match was circulating around the WWE locker room. After that, he did a few appearances as an extra, eventually leading to a tryout. After eight months between extra appearances, Joey Mercury called him up for another appearance as an extra. After that, Canyon Ceman (WWE Senior Director of Talent Development) called him up for a tryout. Sami said he was already booked as an extra as Cema told him to collect a payday for the extra gig before the tryout.
On the day of the tryout, Sami said that he cut a promo in front of the Brooklyn Brawler and William Regal, who was really pushing for him to be signed. He ended up wrestling Johnny Curtis (Fandango) in a dark match. Curtis was actually testing out the Fandango character at the time. Sami said Paul Heyman told him he was a big fan, putting over a promo he did as part of EVOLVE.
Sami explains the process of being an extra, using his first time as the example. Ty Bailey (the man Canyon Ceman replaced) called him up for the gig. Sami then said that you wrestle in the ring before the show and if they see something they like, you will get a tryout. He then talks about Regal and Brawler having you cut “conversational” promos as Sami cut one about being in Europe for three weeks and coming home that day and getting into his car to come here at 6am and tomorrow he will be flying out to Japan. They asked him to cut a promo in character and he wowed them with that. Sami thought he was getting signed as a result. After that, Mike Bucci (Nova) said he was friends with Ty Bailey and they were going to offer him a job. However, while touring Japan a few weeks later, he read online that Bailey had been let go from the company and never heard back from the company until Mercury called several months later.
On the tryout process, Sami said he was in Florida. It was still FCW as the Performance Center was not yet created. He said that you had to pay about $1,000 to be there and 70 guys did that but he was one of the 20 that were invited and did not have to pay as a result. Sami said he almost blew out his knee the first day but kept going and did fine. After it ended, Ceman told Sami they were going to start the hiring process. However, an hour later Ceman told Sami that he “didn’t have the pull” to just sign someone yet. Ceman reminded Sami that he was smaller than most of the guys they hire but that there was something about him they still liked and told him to appear on that week’s RAW and Smackdown shows. When asked, Sami said that he was not discouraged as he was determined to get signed anyway. Sami also said that another wrestler, Ali Vaez from OVW, was also originally told he was going to be signed but that he was older (34-35 years old) than most so they needed to look at him again. They had a match before the show in front of the agents then met with Road Dogg, Ryan Ward (NXT Head Writer), and William Regal. They were told it would take two weeks for an answer. Vaez got told he was not getting a deal but Sami had to wait longer before finally being told he was getting signed. (Sami seemed to have mixed up the years here, stating this was 2011. It was 2012 as he was officially signed in 2013).
Sami puts over the medical testing as a good thing. He said they test your head and your heart, noting how they want healthy people to work for the company and to keep them healthy as well. He said you wait to hear back about when to report to developmental and got a call about the testing during WrestleMania weekend 2013 while he was at WrestleCon. They told him that his testosterone levels where a little bit high and that he needed to get re-tested somewhere locally. He explains the reason why they were high, stating you are supposed to get testing done early in the morning but when he arrived the line was long so he went about his day and came back at 4pm for his blood work. He got the tested and the WWE called him back stating he was all set.
He talks about reporting to Developmental, stating he wishes it was either a year later or prior because he was part of the first Performance Center class and it was a weird time. He was initially given the date of January to start then that got held off until the Performance Center opened. He said that while guys who came later on like Finn Balor and Kevin Owens had a lot of buzz, he did not as Sami’s class was told they could not do anything for six months. Sami said they were like the “guinea pigs” for how they would treat each incoming class at the Performance Center. His class included Kalisto, Wesley Blake, Buddy Murphy, and Simon Gotch. Sami said he wrestled one live event in six months and noted how later on, guys like Balor, Owens, etc .came in and got on TV soon. Sami said that one of the reasons he left was that he kept getting overshadowed and believes he could have capitalized on his buzz if he had signed and reported to NXT later than he did. Sami also adds that he left the WWE in order to reinvent himself and since he left on good terms, to once again return to the company.
Regarding Bill DeMott, Sami said that he is a “hardass” and like a drill instructor. Sami also said that he disagreed with some of DeMott’s ways and even felt that he screwed up his NXT debut due to how he built the match (DeMott was the agent). He does credit for being nice to him when his father passed away, even stating that if you were alone with him one-on-one he was one of the nicest human beings and told him to take as much time off as he wanted to deal with that. Sami said he took a week off then went back to training.
He is now asked about other trainers in NXT. Sami puts over Matt Bloom (A-Train, Tensai) for being a hard worker who while “corporate” is still one of the boys. He loves Norman Smiley, stating he talks to him frequently. Sami said people forget about how great Smiley was at technical wrestling and recalls a story Smiley once said that if he came back to wrestle, the two people he would want to face would be Cesaro and Sami. On Terry Taylor, Sami said that he is not well-liked and knows it but always got along with him. He tells a story of Taylor telling him how to work a hold in a match. Sami thought it would never work but he did it and it went great. Sami even said he used the same thing his first match back on the Independent scene and it got over in front of that crowd as well. Sami adds that he does not need to take all sorts of “head” bumps and that he can wrestle, adding how Taylor told him its not all about throwing strikes and its still two guys in the ring that are wrestling and making those holds mean something. He tells a story about Steve Keirn, who would randomly agent shows. Before a match Sami had with Kalisto, Keirn told him both that he “didn’t give a fuck what they did” because he knew they could rock the house. They had the match and a “this is awesome” chant broke out. Backstage, Taylor was pissed that they didn’t work any holds then Keirn walked up to Taylor and asked if they heard the crowd and that the match was “fucking awesome” and he should tell the rest of the guys on the show to follow that. Sami said Keirn told them to feel the crowd and that if he didn’t like something that happened in the match where he was an agent but he crowd popped then it didn’t matter because they work for the crowds.
On Dusty Rhodes, Sami said that he loves the “broken toys” that he can mold. Sami said that Dusty would mentor him and that evolved into conversations about booking territories and cutting promos on how to build a town. Sami then said that two days before his passing, Dusty told Sami he should be “Abe Lincoln.” Sami questioned why he should do that as Dusty went on-and-on about how it could get him on TV. Sami told him it was ridiculous as Dusty thanked Sami for doing so, stating he sometimes just says stuff to see how people will react. Sami also said Dusty taught him how to write a TV show and how it is knowledge you cannot buy.
His first impression of HHH was that he was intimidating. After that, he was told by others that HHH was “one of the boys” and after that Sami said he was easily approachable. HHH said that he talk to people as they are lined up and get to all of them. Sami puts over HHH for looking out for what is best in wrestling and being a great boss to work for and tells a story after he had a good match against Apollo Crews, HHH approached Sami and asked where that guy has been this whole time. Sami said he was told not to be like that then HHH said he should be like that all the time. He also tells a story about HHH approaching him regarding a potential feud and Sami jokingly said “is it with Stone Cold” as HHH said no but Sami knew that question “popped” HHH. Sami said HHH was an amazing guy to work for and you could talk to him about wrestling and pitch some ideas. Sami then talks about how he talked to him a few different times when he wanted out of the company, feeling that other top indy guys got “protection” around them but he didnt and got buried on the roster. Sami said he gave himself a goal that if he was not doing something major by the end of the year then he was going to leave. Sami even noted he had stuff in the works when he left but nothing came to fruition and decided to stick to his goal and make a name for himself again on the independent scene and try to come back.
Still on the subject of HHH and what he believed his goal to be for NXT, Sami said that HHH’s whole life is professional wrestling and while an old school guy, is becoming a fan of the Independent scene. Sami cites Kevin Owens as an example of someone without the traditional WWE look but extremely talented, saying he is the “anti John Cena” and that is what makes him cool. He also talks about how surreal it was to see Owens wrestle John Cena, even beating him. Sami notes how his generation’s class of independent wrestlers are taking over the WWE. He even notes that Owens came up to him during his WWE tryout and did not think he was going to get signed because he couldn’t do a front-roll but kept sticking with everything and got signed.
Sami now talks about how hard it is to be in developmental. He talks about how you are bumping constantly during training, even when not wrestling, and cites Jason Jordan as a guy who has been there for over four years before catching a break.
He now gives us a brief, verbal walk-through of the Performance Center. Sami said the place is awesome. There are seven rings and a Titantron to use for practicing entrances. They have a state of the art gym with a great trainer. Sami also said that its really like a job.
Sami takes us through the first day at the Performance Center for newcomers. You arrive to the building at 8am and do in-ring drills for three hours. You get an hour break then do weights for 1.5 hours. On show days, you basically lift and drive to the show. There are promo classes sandwiched in between. Sami said they are literally breeding machines down in Developmental. He adds that its great and how NXT is changing wrestling not just with the Independent guys coming in but the wrestlers they are creating from scratch. Sami believes that Hugo Knox (former European professional soccer player) will be a huge star one day. He also said that Braun Strowman came in the same class as he did too but kept getting hurt. Sami points out how big guys like Strowman cannot do all these conditioning and “blow up” drills without getting hurt. However, Strowman stuck through it and got healthy then got brought up after just five matches and is doing great with the Wyatt Family. Feinstein adds that Strowman is a Vince McMahon project then Sami cuts him off to say that he would be anyone’s project, noting how if he was an Indy promoter at a gym he’d immediately come over and ask if he wanted to be a pro wrestler, noting how you cannot teach “big.”
He talks about how hard it is to deal with the micromanagement. Sami notes how the Developmental system is such a machine that you have your job and very little freedom.
When he first reported to Developmental, Sami believed that the indy guys were looked down upon. He said that he came in with a lot of buzz, along with Kalisto, but when Balor and Owens came in that started to change. He then adds how much buzz NXT has currently that due to the fact they are a Developmental brand and sold out the Barclays Center.
Sami said that Ryan Katz (NXT Associate Producer, former Independent wrestler, manager, and ring announcer GQ Money) is the man. He dosent believe he gets enough credit. Katz makes promo videos and vignettes to bring to the office. Sami said that Katz came up with the Elias Sampson vignettes and if not for that, Sampson might have never got a shot on NXT TV as he was struggling.
On the most important thing Sami learned from Dusty Rhodes when it comes to wrestling, Sami said that Dusty told him you have to treat yourself like you are a big star all of the time and be larger than life.
Sami talks about his hacker character. He said that Dusty Rhodes loved the idea, thinking it was new and cutting edge and if done correctly, could be huge. However, the “powers that be” just didnt get it and questioned why would a hacker wrestle. Dusty continued to fight for the gimmick but Sami said the gimmick was never done properly as he notes if done right, it could have been one of the hottest gimmicks in the company, noting how it is relevant. He discusses the creation of the gimmick later in the interview.
When asked how the “Solomon Crowe” name got created. Sami said he pitched a bunch of names and had to pick from six of them that corporate approved. The final names we Solomon, Crist Samuels (Sami’s #1 choice but Bill DeMott talked him out of that because the name was too close to “Christ” and parents would not buy that shirt for their kids), Decker, Solomon Shaw, and Solomon Crowe. Originally, Sami picked the name Jeremiah Crowe, because his brother was in fact named Jeremiah, but the office combined that with the Solomon name. His final two choices were Solomon Crowe and Marik and Sami went with the former as it sounded cool and same initials as his name.
He talks about how there are cliques in NXT but that’s the same about life in general. Sami said they were not malicious towards each other. His clique at the end consisted of Apollo Crews, Rich Swann, Biff Busick, and referee Drake Wuertz. He also hung out with Sawyer Fulton and the recently released Cal Bishop, who is now training for the Olympics.
Sami talks about how awesome it was to learn from all of the legends that passed through the Performance Center. He got to pick the Undertaker’s brain and was told by Norman Smiley that the Undertaker thought he should be more aggressive in the ring.
On his first meeting with Vince McMahon, Sami said Vince once came to the Performance Center with a bunch of guys from corporate and they stood in a line for the wrestlers to introduce themselves and shake hands. Sami says that in his mind, when he approached Vince, he said his name as Vince went “What’s up, dog” as Sami said it may not have happened but in his mind it did.
When asked, Sami said that never cared about the rumors surrounding Bill DeMott. He believed in treating people the way they treated himself and stays out of that “bullshit,” noting he stays out of negative stuff. Sami said that DeMott is a drill instructor and would speak in riddles a lot, compared to Matt Bloom, who just tells you stuff straight up. On if the rumors were true about Vince freaking out over seeing DeMott have students performing squats on the top rope, Sami said he was not there for that but squats on the top rope were a DeMott drill. Sami said that’s just his way of teaching but notes that those drills made him very comfortable in being able to just stand on the top rope for a long time, something he was not able to do prior to those drills.
He is now asked about his father, who became very ill with cancer, and ultimately passed away while Sami was employed by the WWE. Sami said the company would let him take time off to see his dad.
Now he talks about coming up with the hacker gimmick. Sami said he pitched the idea to independent promotions but they had no clue how to produce it so he wrote it down with the plan to pitch it if he made it to the WWE. When he was in Developmental, he pitched the idea and Dusty loved it. Sami said he wanted to be like the “Anonymous” hacker group who would hack into the arena’s lights, Titantron and even social media accounts, where he would post things “TMZ style” about that person in their own account. Sami said the idea was that he was ruining peoples lives through his hacking. However, HHH didnt get the gimmick and the need for a hacker to wrestle. Sami said they told him one day at an NXT taping they were going to air his vignettes. Sami asked DeMott what vignettes he was referring to as he hadnt filmed anything recently. DeMott said they filmed them over a year ago as Sami noted they were the hacker promos but that day was also told he would not be doing the hacker gimmick, which ended up confusing the fans. Sami said he barely even knew what his character was supposed to be. That night, he wrestled Sylvester LeFort in a dark match, which took place in the middle of the taping thus leading those live to believe it would be shown on NXT TV. Sami then talks about how he debuted got pushed back after that and notes he was getting pulled in too many different directions by the coaches on what to do, saying some wanted him to be ferocious in the ring while others did not as Sami said he wasnt himself while on TV. During live events, Sami said that he was killing it in the ring but never given that opportunity for TV. He notes how HHH asked him after his match against Apollo Crews why he hadnt been showing this on TV in the past while Smiley and Gunn told HHH that Sami had been killing it on the house shows and busting his ass without complaining but just never given a chance for TV. After that, HHH came up with something for Sami but it kept getting pushed back and he left before the end of the year, sticking to his goal.
Regarding the NXT crowd at Full Sail, Sami said they think they are “smart marks” but are really not. He then said while sometimes trying to make the show about themselves, they are still really cool and it gives the building their own atmosphere. He also notes how they like certain stuff and if you go outside of that, they start booing.
Sami notes that the WWE is not a professional wrestling show but rather a television show about a wrestling show when citing how much you go over everything before the TV tapings start and how its more about the production aspect than the wrestling itself. He does note that the production all treated everyone with respect and that head writer Ryan Ward was a huge fan of Independent wrestling. He also notes how you could tell them to change some of the wording of the promos and they would be fine with that in NXT but does not believe that is the case on RAW.
When asked if the WWE creative team pays real attention to NXT and the characters, Sami thinks that is the one big miscommunication. He said the main roster has no clue whats going on at live events but it is improving now. On if guys like Neville are getting buried on the main roster, Sami does not believe Neville is buried at all, noting how he is making good money and getting to showcase his talents. Sami also said that he is on all the live events and press conferences and still successful despite not being at the level of a John Cena.
On his TV debut when he attacked CJ Parker, Sami said the fans knew it was him and reacted well. He also thought he was “making it” but it did not turn out that way.
He talks about getting hurt doing a headscissors. He was at a house show teaming with Kalisto going up against the Ascension. Sami did a headscissors and got tossed off to take the big bump but got shot off too far and over-rotated where he ended up chipping his tibia and sprained his ankle. He was out for six months as Sami felt that really halted his momentum as he believed he would be starting on TV soon.
While injured, Sami said the WWE took care of all his medical bills and really puts over how awesome the medical staff are at the Performance Center. He said there whole mission is to not have people work hurt, adding that they have all state-of-the-art equipment to take care of any situation. Sami said they want you to tell them about any ailment so they can prolong your career. When he was hurt, Sami said you do physical therapy and sit at ringside during the drills.
Sami now talks about his girlfriend, Independent wrestler Jessica Havok. Feinstein asks him about the controversy that took place during her WWE tryout due to fans digging up old tweets about her making Havok out to seem like a racist. Sami said Havok told him she never said these things as Sami then added that months later these same folks also made fake tweets about Zahra Schreiber (former WWE Developmental Talent and girlfriend of Seth Rollins) stating their whole goal was to get women fired through fake tweets. Sami said that might have ruined Havok’s career as it gave her a stigma of being a racist. When asked, Sami said that the WWE has to shy away from people with this controversy as they are a publically traded company. Sami then points out he hates social media, only liking it because he can sell merchandise or get some free stuff, and that it makes you live under a microscope and how you have to walk around on egg shells. Sami said it also indirectly leads to the NXT talent acting on their best behavior as they know they can get fired for this sort of stuff.
He talks about the company putting Zahra Schreiber with him as his sister because they looked similar but she got released due to her past on social media.
Sami is asked about guys he has worked with in NXT. He said that Sylvester LeFort is very talented and should get more chances to wrestle. Sami said that Scott Dawson was an independent wrestler who was going to school and working a job and one of the best wrestlers he has ever been in the ring with. He talks about Tye Dillinger being one of the smoothest in the ring and one of the most respected on the roster, noting how he is the Undertaker of NXT in that regard. Sami believes that Finn Balor can be the next John Cena, noting how his first year in NXT alone he had ten pieces of merchandise for sale. Sami refers to Charlotte as his “big sister” and how he still talks to her today. He talks about Bull Dempsey, who kept on trying and eventually got signed. Sami says he should just be a badass instead of what he is doing now. Sami believes that Jason Jordan is one of the most underrated guys on the roster and has a great body and very atheltic. He calls Chad Gable one of the most naturally gifted athletes he has been in the ring with. Sami also thinks he is better than Kurt Angle but wishes he was bigger, noting how he would probably be the WWE Champion if he was. Sami also notes that if Gable was in New Japan right now, he’d be considered the man. Sami said that he became really good friends with Enzo & Big Cass. He believes they should both be on the main roster right now and how they could move a lot of merchandise. Sami said Bayley is amazing and her character is pretty much who she is in real life. Sami said that people do not consider her pretty like the rest of the WWE Divas but she does not care and is one of the womens wrestlers in the world as Sami puts over her match against Sasha Banks in Brooklyn as one of the best wrestling matches he has ever seen in his life.
And Sami is asked about others who he worked with in NXT. He said Tyler Breeze is awesome but was almost fired until coming up with the Tyler Breeze gimmick, which was apparently created by Breeze, Gunn, and Xavier Woods. Sami thinks Breeze is the modern day Shawn Michaels and can really go in the ring. He believes that Sami Zayn is the man and that Becky Lynch is one of the nicest people on the planet and defied the odds to make it to the WWE. On Baron Corbin, Sami said that a lot of people do not like him as he came from the NFL. Sami said they clashed a bit at the beginning but bonded over their love of horror movies and metal music. He also said Corbin came in as a big wrestling fan. Sami said that Corbin became very good through the WWE system and should be on the main roster now because he is huge with a cool look and can even go in the ring. Sami also puts over Corbin for speaking his mind and not caring what others think about him. Sami also said Corbin told him he only cares if the office likes him as he has a lot of friends and wants to become a star and make money. Sami said that is the best way to think about things. Sami said that Sasha Banks came into NXT as someone who was very shy but is now a star. Sami thinks that Simon Gotch is one of the oddest guys he has ever met in his life but gets his humor. Sami then said that Aiden English had a drama background then started to train and paid to learn at the FCW beginners class and was told he was too small but his ripped and does things his own way. Sami puts over Konnor from the Ascension, stating at one point Konnor was trying to put him into the group. Sami talks about partying with Viktor while down in NXT. Sami said that Angelo Dawkins is one of his best friends, calling him someone who is crazy athletic. He tells a story of Dawkins calling him up drunk for a ride and when Sami got there, he’d be quiet and wanted Taco Bell. He hated Mojo Rawley at first until he realized his character is really who Mojo is in real life. Sami puts over for Mojo for trying to improve and having charisma.
He talks about guys in NXT who can shine in the WWE if given the platform. Sami said Bo Dallas is one of the best guys he has seen in the ring but does not get the chance to do anything on the main roster. Sami then says its one thing to be “given the ball” but its another thing to have the ball with people blocking for you.
Sami is asked about Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa in NXT. He puts over how they get to come in and work good matches without having to partake in the bumping and blowup drills with the rest of the contracted talent.
Originally, he was supposed to wrestle Apollo Crews for his debut at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. When he got to the show it was changed with Tye Dillinger put in his place. Sami said that was one of the biggest turning points for him in the company.
Next, Sami is asked about the report about NXT talent not receiving a percentage of the big shows they work. He doesnt know who leaked that information or wonders if its something that the “dirt sheets” blew up but talks about how they get paid really good money to train as wrestlers and shouldnt be a big deal to not receive a cut for those shows. Sami does believe the report that the company is losing money with NXT as the Performance Center is a multi-million dollar building but one day it will be different when the brand makes enough revenue to offset the losses. Sami says the lowest paid guys in NXT make $45,000 a year, which is still a decent salary, and how they have a roster of about 70 workers.
Sami talks about the recent cast of Tough Enough briefly. He states that winner Josh Bredl, currently going by Bronson Matthews, is a big guy who loves professional wrestling. Sami said he is in great shape and winning to learn and thinks he could be a stand out. Regarding ZZ, Sami said what you see on TV is him in real life. He tells a story of while at the Performance Center where he was told to ask Norman Smiley something but had no clue who he was. Sami said that got him some heat with people but that he is just 19 years old and new to wrestling so you cannot expect him to know that. Sami said he is just a young kid taking advantage of an opportunity and should not be hated for that.
He is asked about “Breaking Ground.” Sami said at one point he was supposed to be a main character on the show but that got scrapped. Sami also wishes there were more reality shows about the Performance Center.
Sami is now asked why he left the company. He said he was in limbo and believes the right choice was made. Sami said he left on good terms and can now go out to prove he can be the man then return to the company in a couple of years. When asked if some people thought he was being impatient for leaving, Sami said he was there for 2.5 years and not being used and felt that the new Independent talent coming in were leapfrogging him. He wants to go back out on the Independent scene and re-create a buzz for himself by wrestling all over the place. Sami also wants to be himself and not walk around on eggshells.
He talks about being happy for Rich Swann signing with the company. On if he gave him advice, Sami said he told Swann that he is not a “pro wrestler” anymore and that he is a “WWE Superstar” and that is a big difference. Sami said the WWE teaches you how to become a productive person in life and proper ways to use social media.
He said that John Cena is an awesome person. Sami said he is really smart and brilliant and told him that he calls a lot of stuff in the ring as he always tries to feel out the crowd. Cena also told Sami he always watches and listens to the crowd when they show the opening video and if he gets booed, he knows that he cannot play around with them and win them over but if he’s cheered he can do whatever he wants. Cena also said he used the boos against the fans and will cut a promo how he is also upset as Sami said he can completely turn the crowd. Sami said that he never needs to turn heel for that reason. He then goes further by saying there are no “heels” or “faces” but rather they are all wrestlers and their own entity. Sami also said that anyone who shits on Cena is dumb as he is a machine, makes a ton of money, and always pays for the guys when they are out partying and will be the last to leave the bar and the first to go to the gym in the morning. Sami said that he is a great professional wrestler.
Sami said that he went to a few TV tapings for the WWE and talks about how much production goes into the shows. He then mentions that unlike popular TV shows that have multiple takes, the WWE just has one take on live TV and you have to make the most of it as he recalls Dusty Rhodes telling him you never waste any time when the camera is on.
Sami wants fans to know that he is not bitter at all and can travel and wrestle where ever he wants and can do anything he wants in his free time.
Now, independent wrestlers Masada and David Starr join Sami for the interview. This was also live on Periscope at the time. No one was asking questions so they just ended up shooting the shit for about 20 minutes. Nothing really all that interesting except for Sami telling a story about Low Ki at Jersey All Pro. It was one of Ki’s first matches since leaving the WWE and he was going up against Chris Dickinson, who Sami said is out of his fucking mind, and tried to stiff him. Dickinson responded by hitting Ki with a snapmare and booting him in the chest, asking Ki if he still wanted to fuck around. Ki then stopped as Masada adds that Ray Rowe also knocked Ki out. Sami also talks about how some of the best tag teams do not really like each other, noting how the Vaudevillians and the Ascension travel separately a majority of the time. On the flip side, Sami said that Dash & Dawson always travel together.
Sami then talks about being one of the Terminators for HHH’s entrance at WrestleMania 31 along with Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, Enzo Amore, and Drake Wuertz. He talks about getting a $1,500 for the gig. Sami talks about how it was the actual outfits from the movie and had to sign a waiver stating they would immediately take it off and place it in the bag after the appearance. Sami said the night before they sat and watched the rehearsals for the music performances and talks about that for a minute.
Final Thoughts: I thought that this was an excellent interview. Sami went into detail about the Performance Center and NXT in general. He also discussed how it just didnt work out for him in the NXT. I thought that he also gave some really good insight into how the Performance Center shapes the Developmental Talent as performers as well.
I also came away from this interview liking Sami as a person. He is not bitter about his experience in NXT and does not try to bury anyone. Sami even puts over the company and trainers a lot.
Overall, I thought this was a very good interview. I wish Sami the best of luck as he continues his career on the Independent scene and hopes he gets another shot in NXT in the future. I recommend this interview.
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