Sami Zayn famously name-dropped AEW on Monday Night Raw back in 2019 during the only instance of the Electric Chair. Shortly after the company’s debut Double or Nothing pay-per-view, Sami did a segment where he answered questions from fans in a strange electric chair. Zayn said the questions were bad, and noted that fans could be asking about anything, including AEW.
The bit went down in infamy among wrestling fans who keep track of the few times when WWE acknowledges another company on their television shows. It was debated for years whether Zayn was scripted to say the line. Sami thought the segment was falling flat, so he name-dropped AEW to add some flair to the segment.
Sami recently defended himself for mentioning AEW during a chat with Cultaholic. Zayn said the entire Q&A segment was unscripted. When it wasn’t working, he simply tried to change things up.
“What happened is the timing of that is sometimes forgotten. You’re referring to the electric chair segment which was a totally unscripted segment. The timing of that segment was very interesting because it was the next day after AEW had just had their first-ever pay-per-view. It was a very hot topic at the time. It was hot off the heels of their first pay-per-view and it was hot off the announcement that AEW was going to be a company.
It was so new and so fresh and we felt that it was going to be on everybody’s minds. I felt like it was bound to come up, and it kind of weirdly didn’t. At that point in the segment, some of the questions I thought would’ve been a lot more provocative because it was unscripted. While I was out there, I felt like a lot of the questions were a bit flat. Me using my judgment, I figured this needed some pizzazz, so I brought it up myself.
When I got back it wasn’t so much that it came up, but the way it came up. The way I sort of addressed it, when it wasn’t really needed to be addressed. All this to say that in my defense, the fact that we’re still talking about it three years later tells me that my instincts were right. We needed something memorable to make this a shocking segment, but unfortunately, that was the death blow of the electric chair segment because it was never to be repeated again.”
Sami Zayn is set to battle Johnny Knoxville of Jackass fame in an anything-goes match at WrestleMania 38. Zayn was rumored to be considering signing with AEW for a long time before he re-upped with WWE. What many fans thought was a cryptic hint ultimately turned out to be just an attempt to spice things up.
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H/T Wrestling Inc.