clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Sami Zayn’s AEW line reportedly scripted, why Vince McMahon may have ‘flipped out’ anyway

New, comments
WWE on Twitter

There were a lot of conflicting reports about Sami Zayn saying the name of Tony Khan’s new wrestling company on the May 27 episode of Raw. Some said he was scripted to say “AEW” during his pre-main event interview segment. Others said it was ad-libbed. A subset of those reports claimed Vince McMahon was noticeably upset by the line. The whole thing was compounded by WWE editing it out of the YouTube version of the scene but leaving it in USA Network online/app replays, and the 90 minute Hulu version of Raw.

In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer (who has maintained from the start the line was planned) writes that two company sources confirmed to him Sami’s AEW mention was in Monday’s script. The reason it was written in was to make Raw seem “edgy”, a show where performers can say things they’re not allowed to. Removing it from the YouTube version was supposed to reinforce this idea.

That doesn’t mean Vince wasn’t “freaking out” when Zayn told the audience they could have asked him about AEW.

The Observer’s sources confirm McMahon seemed pissed off in gorilla, and that many people backstage were told Sami improvised the line. But since it wasn’t completely edited out of all versions of the show, Meltzer says that either means there was a miscommunication where Vince didn’t know it was in the script (and then I guess calmed down when it was explained to him), or that VKM was acting upset to make everyone inside and outside the company think Zayn mentioned AEW without permission.

The word which made it’s way to Dave for the Newsletter is that it was a miscommunication. But Meltzer also reiterated something he said on Tuesday’s Observer Radio - that a “working the boys” trick like Vince pretending to be upset happened a lot in WCW toward the end of that company’s run, so if that’s what was going on, it would be a mistake, but it wouldn’t be a first.

If your head is spinning, you’re not alone. Hulk Hogan’s greatest tweet definitely applies here.

The TL;DR version (I think) is that the line was scripted, but WWE wants everyone to think it wasn’t.

But there are about 17 other possible permutations of the story. Feel free to offer yours below.