Wrestling / Sami Zayn
aka: El Generico


Rami Sebei (b. 1984) is an Syrian-Canadian Professional Wrestler best known for his work for Ring of Honor and other promotions as El Generico. He was trained by Patty the Kid, Jerry Tuite and Savio Vega, debuted in 2002 in International Wrestling Syndicate in his native Quebec and made his American debut in CZW in 2004, and has competed for Pro Wrestling Guerilla, CHIKARA, Dragon Gate, Dramatic Dream Team, TNA (two dark matches in 2011) and many other promotions around the world since. He is currently in WWE NXT as Sami Zayn, where he is a one time NXT Champion. Among his in-ring achievements, he is a former 2x PWG World Heavyweight Champion, a King Of DDT Openweight Champion, a 5x PWG World Tag Team Champion, a ROH World Tag Team Champion, and a ROH World Television Champion. In 2010, The Wrestling Observer Newsletter named his ROH feud with Kevin Steen "Feud of the Year."

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.

"Los Tropes Genericos":

  • Always Someone Better: As Sami Zayn, it's Adrian Neville, who Zayn just can't beat for the championship. Zayn's abysmal track record concerning important matches and a flippant insult by Neville did such a number on his psyche that he declared that if he can't beat Neville for the championship at Takeover 3, he'll quit the company. Zayn finally beat Neville for the NXT Championship at the event.
    • On RAW, it's Kevin Owens. He's managed to keep up with him in their matches but Owens always manages to come out on top in some form. Zayn goes for John Cena's Open Challenge but gets injured, Kevin Owens takes it and wins. Sami Zayn gets his revenge against Owens during the Royal Rumble, but Owens beats him in the grudge match that happens at Payback.
  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Badass: Works matches whilst fasting for Ramadan!
  • Badass Beard:
  • Badass Cape: As entrance attire
  • Bald of Awesome: Upon his return to NXT in late 2015.
  • Bash Brothers: With Kevin Steen—until Steen betrays him with malice.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As Zayn, he's a consummate face for promos: polite, humble and charming. Treat him wrongly, though, and he'll deliver a thorough beating in the ring.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He, Kevin Steen and Delirious came out together to save Tyler Black from Jimmy Jacobs's thugs and bring the Age Of The Fall to an end.
  • Bookends: The feud between El Generico and Kevin Steen began when Steen smashed Generico in the face with a steel chair after they lost to The Young Bucks. One year later, at the same event, in the same arena, Generico hits Steen in the face with that very chair to end their feud and kick Steen out of ROH.
  • The Cape: While Generico's the one with the mask and cape attire, Zayn embodies the spirit of the trope just as well if not better.
  • Celeb Crush: On Gillian Jacobs and Laura Jane Grace.
  • Chewing the Scenery: As seen in this picture, he seems to take this a bit... literally
  • Cool Mask: As El Generico. Averted as Sami Zayn.
  • Cultured Badass: Zayn seems to be playing to this trope early on.
  • Dance Battler: During the Osirian Portal (Amasis/Ophidian/Escorpion Egipcio) vs. Team PWG (El Generico/The Young Bucks [Matt and Nick Jackson]) match at CHIKARA King of Trios 2009 Night I, he rolled out of Amasis' sunset flip attempt and started dancing, and was good enough that Amasis backed away from him.
  • Darker and Edgier: Late in his 2010 feud with Kevin Steen, Steen stole his mask after a brutal double chains tag team match. When Generico returned to action, he had ditched his signature black and red attire for a stark black and white look, lost much of his playful antics and showed an uncharacteristic violence and aggression in the ring, even against opponents with no connection to his war with Steen. He would eventually gain his old mask and attitude back months later after exiling Steen from Ring of Honor.
  • Determinator: Hard enough to pin during the shows, but if you want to beat him during a live special, you'd best run him over with three tanks and leave the third one parked on top of him. This even shows up in his booking; even when he's not the main event, his matches tend to be much longer than his fellow NXT stars. In fact, he (along with Samoa Joe) is the only person in NXT to have wrestled a match that took an entire episode of NXT. Not counting commercial breaks and Vanity Plate|s, that's about forty-five minutes.
  • Easter Egg: According to Google Translate, Sami Zayn is Arabic for El Generico.
  • Eats Babies: Colt Cabana tried to make him into this (see below). But…
    El Generico: (following Colt's prompts) I EAT CHILDREN!
    Colt: No, no! "I want to eat your children!"
    El Generico: Que no comprendo "eat children"!
  • Eccentric Mentor: Colt Cabana decided to mentor him on how to defeat Kevin Steen and Steve Corino.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His first night as Sami Zayn in NXT, he defeated both Curt Hawkins and Antonio Cesaro about 10 minutes apart from each other.
  • Every Month (or Two) He Fizzles Out: Has unfortunately become part of his character arc lately in NXT, after repeated attempts (and repeated failures) to win the NXT Title...
  • The Face: Became the representative of the International Wrestling Syndicate in IWP:UK, the 2007 King Of Europe Cup and westside Xtreme wrestling after defeating Jagged and Kid Kamikaze at Praise The Violence.
  • Fiery Redhead: Downplayed as he's very composed and professional outside of the ring, but very physical and intense between the ropes. Almost reflected in his actual hair - as the picture above shows, his hair is a brownish color, but the beard he's sporting is quite ginger.
  • Finishing Move: "Brainbustaaaaahhhhh!!!!!"(Super Brainbuster onto the turnbuckle and sometimes on the Apron; more so as Generico); Helluva Kick (Big Boot in the corner), Koji Clutch
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Billed this way in Dragon Gate.
  • Friend to All Children: He wouldn't be a proper luchador parody if he wasn't. It's to the point that when Sebei jumped ship and became Sami Zayn, it was joked that El Generico retired to help out little orphans in Mexico and that Sami was one of said orphans.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: They mask it through an alternate pronunciation, but one of his finishers in NXT is called the Helluva Kick, which looks like it should be (And in fact, has been on occaision) pronounced 'Hell Of A Kick'.
  • The Heart: "The Heart and Soul of NXT"
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kevin Steen/Owens in Real Life.
  • I Have Many Names: He has also wrestled as Stevie McFly.
  • I Have the High Ground: He won CHIKARA's 2011 Rey de Voladoresnote  Tournament.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Which of course made Kevin Steen into his enemy due to his "metamorphosis" into a monster through and through.
  • It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: One of his finishers in NXT, the "Helluva Kick", is prounounced "Heh-LU-Vah"
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: He and Kevin Steen in promotional posters for ROH Final Battle 2012.
  • Kayfabe:
    • A tongue-in-cheek version. Even in shoot interviews will wrestlers (jokingly) refer to El Generico as Mexican.
    • Many insist on the idea that Zayn and Generico are two different people. Most of all being Kevin Steen, who claims that El Generico was found dead in a ditch in Mexico.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: He, Excess 69 and Kevin Steen all competed with each other to have the least amount of time in the ring with Samoa Joe during and northern Championship wrestling four corner's match (and to a lesser extent, to be out of the ring in general as winner had to face ROH champion Austin Aries). 69 didn't want to be in the ring with Steen either, which in turn let Generico outmaneuver Steen.
  • Morality Pet: For Kevin Steen. Or not. This is true in both ROH and NXT.
  • Nice Hat: He's taken to wearing a distinctive flat cap as Zayn. The hat itself has almost achieved Ensemble Darkhorse status; it has its own Twitter, and according to Zayn on Chris Jericho's podcast, a lot of the rest of NXT have taken to busting his chops and hiding his "old man hat" from him.
  • Non-Indicative Name: While his gimmick is, for the most part, about as generic as a luchador can get, his wrestling is much less so.
  • Omniglot: Speaks at least three languages: English, French, and Arabic. The last was taken advantage of especially during WWE's Middle Eastern tour to the point of featuring Zayn in many of the tour's promotional packages.
  • One Mario Limit/Unfortunate Name/Embarrassing Last Name: Averted. Outside of the wrestling world, "Zayn" is almost universally associated with (formerly) one-fifth of One Direction. It makes it particularly funny when people see Sami Zayn trending on Twitter (as what happened on his Raw debut) and think it has something to do with the other Zayn — or more commonly, when a trend about "Zayn" the singer appears and wrestling fans think it's about Sami.
  • Parts Unknown: "Tijuana, Canada" as El Generico. Averted as Sami Zayn, where he's billed from Montreal.
  • Power Trio: Team IWS at Chikara's King Of Trios with Player Uno and Stupefied, then team PWG with The Young Bucks.
  • Put on a Bus: While it's joked that Generico left to take care of the orphans in Mexico, he really jumped to WWE.
  • Power Stable: Tozawa-juku, in Dragon Gate
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Ole!" by the Bouncing Souls
  • Red Baron: "The Generic Luchador"
  • Rule of Cool: He and Samuray Del Sol were put in the main event of Evolve 14 despite both having losing records. Why? Because why let losses get in the way of cool?
  • Rule of Funny: A white Persian guy from Canada paying a mexican? Just go with it.
  • Signature Move: Zayn's Helluva Kick was this back when Generico called it the Yakuza Kick. Both Zayn and Generico use the Blue Thunder Bomb as a signature move.
  • Spiteful Spit: El Generico and Kevin Steen greeted each other this way at Final Battle 2010.
  • Tag Team:
    • Cape Fear, with Quicksilver
    • ¡Peligro Abejas!, with Paul London
    • 2 Skinny Black Guys, with Human Tornado
    • Two Husky Black Guys, with Willie Mack
    • Back where it all started in IWS, Team Photosynthesis with Beef Wellington.
  • Take That: Him choking Kevin Steen with a tie at Death Before Dishonor VIII, after Bryan Danielson had been fired from WWE earlier that year for the same action.
  • Tournament Arc
    • Won Association de Lutte Feminine's Sensational Sherri Memorial Cup: Amazones et Titans II with LuFisto as his partner, going over Kevin Steen and Stefany Sinclair. Getting a bye in the second round may have had something to do with that...
    • ¡Peligro Abejas! beat the Young Bucks in the finals of PWG DDT4 2010
    • Beat Kevin Steen in Guerrilla's 2011 Battle Of Los Angeles finals
    • Beat Tommy End at the end of westside Xtreme wrestling's 16 Carat Gold tournament in 2012.
  • Versus Title: EVOLVE 14: Generico vs. del Sol, EVOLVE 15: Generico vs del Sol II, EVOLVE 17: Generico vs. del Sol III. Rule of cool indeed.
  • The Voiceless: In Ring Of Honor
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Kevin Steen, as they teamed for years going back to their IWS days. It remains to be seen what (if any) effect this prior history will have now that Steen has joined NXT.
    • and with Steen's debut at Takover 3, it's clear it's still this big time.
  • Worthy Opponent: While Cesaro entered NXT ArRIVAL seeing Zayn as a nuisance, by the end of the match they had become this.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: And if he does, he'll immediately regret it, even if its retaliation to a prior strike, such as Christina Von Eerie smacking him for trying to call out Low Ki at Evolve.

Alternative Title(s): El Generico