Sami Zayn surprised a lot of fans during RAW’s third hour when he out-right said “AEW” on WWE television. This was a pretty interesting direction to take because it wasn’t so much a shot as a recognition of The Elite’s product. However, people were told different things backstage.
Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio how Zayn’s AEW line was scripted and planned to be in the segment. This is interesting because the electric chair segment promised 100% non-scripted questions and answers.
The really interesting part is that Superstars backstage were actually told this wasn’t scripted. WWE did script this line, but then they yanked it from replays to give off the appearance that it was done completely out of Sami Zayn’s head, however, if Zayn did say this out of turn then he would definitely be suspended for that move.
“The AEW line was scripted then they pulled it from the video afterwards and I actually asked someone what’s going on and it’s just like all I heard was ‘it was so f*cking stupid.'”
“Okay, if it’s not scripted then [Sami Zayn] is gonna be suspended. If you go against the script on live TV and say AEW they’ll suspend you for sure. They’re not going to fire you because they won’t fire anybody, obviously.”
“I was just told and the person who told me should know because it’s in the meeting.”
Bryan Alvarez noted that he was also told by someone who should know, but he heard a different story. Instead, Alvarez was told that Zayn went off the script. This made it pretty apparent that WWE is “working the boys” saying that Zayn’s comment wasn’t scripted even though it was.
Dave Meltzer replied saying that he can “definitely see how we’re going to be in an era like that” when speaking about how WWE told Superstars one thing when the other case was clearly what was really going on.
“I can definitely see how we’re going to be in an era of that. I can definitely see that everywhere that we’re going to be in an era like that which turns into the era of mistrust I’ve been through this one before too and it’s you know, you go in that era with the idea of instead of trying to come up with ideas for business we’re trying to come up with things to fool people.”
“To me you don’t lie to the boys because they’re always… if you lie to the talent it’s one thing to sneak a guy in without telling anyone that happens all the time, but to go in there and constantly try and work the boys […] nobody trusts anyone and it becomes a really bad environment.”
WWE isn’t going to win much approval backstage or with the fan base with this move. If anything, it made no sense to name drop AEW on RAW this week at all. The only explanation that could be devised is that WWE figured fans were waiting for some kind of a mention so they gave it to them.
Still, it’s not a good idea to work the Superstars because nobody needs to be losing faith in WWE right now, especially their own workers.
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