On the March 11th, 2024 episode of WWE RAW, Sami Zayn secured remarkable victory in a thrilling gauntlet match, positioning himself for a title opportunity against Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 40. However, his triumph was met with significant backlash from some quarters. Booker T alleged that Zayn was upset by this criticism. Now, Zayn has stepped forward to address Booker T’s remarks and provide clarity on the situation.

Booker T revealed on his Hall of Fame Podcast that he had a conversation with Zayn during a flight, where they discussed the match and the reaction it received. According to Booker, Zayn expressed frustration over the online response to his victory over Chad Gable in the final stretch of the Gauntlet match.

“He was so literally upset about the online heat that he got from the fans. He’s like, ‘Man, I thought the fans love me. And then next thing you know, I see all this stuff.’ I say, ‘Man, you can’t listen to that white noise. You gotta think about how great that match was, and you’re gonna look back on it one day and say: ‘Man, that was some really, really good work that I did.’ But he still, like I said, was feeling that heat. He let someone down just because the fans didn’t think the match was as good as, you know. I thought it was.” 

While speaking with Josh Martinez, Zayn clarified the discussion he had with Booker T and expressed surprise at seeing it reported online.

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”Well I was a little surprised to read that (Zayn laughed), because I basically bumped into Booker (T) on the plane and we were sitting next to each other so, we were just talking so it was pretty weird to see it on the internet. But, all this to say, no, I was very happy with the performance because he was talking about the performance itself, the match itself and I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, I was very pleased with the match.”

Zayn went on to discuss the reaction to his victory over Chad Gable in the Gauntlet match, acknowledging the split response from the audience.

It’s just unfortunate that it felt like the reaction to the win itself was a little split if not a little more skewed towards Chad even because we did such a great job of building Chad and he’s done a great job of building himself…’ When you’re a good guy or whatever or a bad guy and you know where you’re headed, you just want the full investment, you want the full scope of audience emotional investment and I felt like this was an interesting story because it split the emotional investment in two.

So you’re only getting 50 percent of the pie, right? So that’s just an interesting dynamic. It certainly — and it is interesting because it makes it more compelling. But for sure, as a guy whose job is to rally the entire audience behind him which is what I feel like my job sometimes is as a good guy, I was a little let down that I felt like I couldn’t get the entire audience to rally behind me — at least, that’s not even entirely true.

During the match itself, it feels like they’re very happy and invested in the whole thing, but the online backlash or the day after just with people feeling a little disappointed for Chad, which is very understandable, just was a little deflating, you know? But again, this was just something I was kind of articulating to him, as just kind of shooting the breeze on the plane so I think maybe once it gets out online, it seems like a bigger deal than it is but, that’s all I was articulating to him.”

It was previously reported that the gauntlet match had undergone multiple changes before the show. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how Sami Zayn will fare against Gunther in the end.

Were you happy to see Sami Zayn win the gauntlet match? Do you feel Sami Zayn has any chance against Gunther? Let us know in the comments section below!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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