Sami Zayn is no stranger to dealing with celebrities at WrestleMania.
Last year, he tried using Logan Paul to help spread the word about a giant conspiracy against him within WWE. This year, Zayn is actually booked in a match against Jackass Forever star Johnny Knoxville.
Knoxville has been a thorn in Sami’s side going back to the Royal Rumble match, where Zayn thought he got the last laugh after eliminating Knoxville from the bout. But Knoxville returned to WWE shortly thereafter, ate a couple Helluva kicks, and later cost Zayn the Intercontinental title. Now they’ll settle their issues in the ring at WrestleMania 38 on Apr. 3 in Arlington, Texas.
In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Zayn indicates that his story with Knoxville wasn’t originally supposed to last this long:
“I don’t think this was ever the plan for WrestleMania. I think he was here doing some stuff for ‘Jackass Forever,’ doing the Royal Rumble and promoting his movie – and that’s all well and good. Then, he showed up here [on SmackDown], and – I’m going to say this. I don’t like him. I have a problem with him, and I’m going to beat him up. So, let me just get that out of the way because I’m about to say something kind of nice about him.”
“Every single time I was in the ring with him, every time he snuck in the ring or he did what he did or whenever his music hit, it was, by far, the biggest reaction on the show that night – and I know because I was in the ring for all of them. So, the fans love him, and I think what happened is there is such a gravitation toward him and the response was so good that I think it ended up pushing this story further, which has both been a good thing and a bad thing for me because, you know, now I have to deal with all his shenanigans and his … ugh … all the stuff that comes with dealing with Johnny Knoxville.”
“But, yeah, that performer side of me for sure is excited because I know the fans are excited, and I know they are getting a kick. I know every time his music hits they are going to go crazy. And I think he is a great foil for my character, and I’m a good foil for him. He’s a great prankster, and I’m the kind of villain that you want to see seething. I think it’s a natural fit for that, and he’s a natural fit for WWE. His fans, the world of ‘Jackass’ and the world of WWE, it’s like peas in a pod. So, I am happy to be doing this, and I think I’m going to be even happier when I’m standing over him after the bell has rung and I’ve decimated him in the middle of Dallas.”
Zayn is going in and out of kayfabe a bit there, but it sounds to me like his current angle with Knoxville was originally going to wrap up at Royal Rumble. However, it was so well-received that it made all the sense in the world to keep it going and book the celebrity match at WrestleMania.
Are you looking forward to watching Sami kick Johnny’s head off at WrestleMania 38? Let us know in the comments below, Cagesiders.