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Rami Sebei (born July 12, 1984) is a 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 as Sami Zayn, where he is a one time NXT Champion, a three-time Intercontinental Champion, and one-half of the Undisputed Tag Team Champions alongside Kevin Owens. 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, a ROH World Television Champion, and the 2011 winner of PWG's Battle of Los Angeles. In 2010, The Wrestling Observer Newsletter named his ROH feud with Kevin Steen "Feud of the Year."

"Ole Tropes":

  • The Ace: Out of Kayfabe, Sami had no less than five "Match of the Year" contenders in 2016 alone. He's also part of four of the "Top Ten NXT Matches" video that WWE put out in early 2018 (vs. Neville, vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, vs. Cesaro, and the Fatal Four Way with Cesaro-Kidd-Breeze).
  • Action Dad: Has one son. Ironically, Sami himself had never mentioned that he had children until first AJ Styles dropped the bombshell on Talking Smack, and recently, Roman Reigns cut a promo that talked about Sami being a father. The kid actually shows up in a documentary about Elimination Chamber 2023, and he's adorable.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • In NXT Sami Zayn had Adrian Neville, who Zayn just couldn'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 couldn't beat Neville for the championship at TakeOver R Evolution, he'd quit the company. Zayn finally beat Neville for the NXT Championship at the event.
    • Right after finally surpassing Neville, here comes 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. Sami finally beat Owens at Battleground 2016.
    • Subverted with El Generico and Kevin Steen's ROH feud, where Generico (and Colt Cabana) usually would defeat Steen (and Steve Corino) in the matches, but Steen would somehow be the one standing at the end of the fight — until their Mask vs. Career Fight Without Honor at Final Battle 2010 saw Generico finally decisively pin Steen at the conclusion of an all-out war.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Kevin Steen/Owens. They are destined to do this forever, through a dozen different promotions, Ring of Honor, NXT, and finally the WWE main roster.
    • Braun Strowman in late 2016, again in early 2019, and again on late 2019-present Smackdown.
    • Stephanie McMahon, for some reason (she's not a fan of his ska music).
    Stephanie (to his face): Sami, I find your presence completely irritating. Your enthusiasm, your over-the-top rah-rah, your ska music—everything about it.
    • Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles and Big E for the Intercontinental Championship.
    • Shane McMahon after Zayn turned heel.
    • Johnny Knoxville, in the build-up of WrestleMania.
    • Roman Reigns went from the man Sami looked up to all the way to this within a single chair shot that was months in the making. Roman and The Usos brutalized Kevin Owens at the 2023 Royal Rumble and then the Tribal Chief attempted to verbally browbeat Sami into completing the attack. Instead, Zayn snapped and attacked Roman with a steel chair, to which Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa attacked Sami for betraying The Bloodline. Shortly after this, Sami challenged Roman for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at Elimination Chamber, putting on the fight of his life and coming up just short of taking down the king, almost miraculously defying Roman and Jimmy Uso's best attempt to humiliate him.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Sami's response to Jey Uso telling him that he always knew all along that he was a "Fake-ass Uce:"
    "You're not mad that I hit Roman Reigns with that steel chair! You're just mad that you didn't get to do it first!"
  • Awesome, but Impractical: His diving tornado DDT on the outside of the ring through the corner ropes has become something of a signature move. However, if an opponent sees it coming, there's a good second of vulnerability. This bit him hard in his NXT matchup with Shinsuke Nakamura, where Nakamura saw him coming and nearly kicked his head off his shoulders while Zayn was in the ropes. Kevin Owens has started exploiting this as well, due to their long history. More often than not, if Zayn goes for the through-the-ropes tornado DDT, Owens will wait for the dive and then superkick his head off.
  • Badass Cape: As entrance attire when working as Generico.
  • Bash Brothers: With Kevin Steen/Owens — until Steen inevitably betrays him with malice.
  • Begin with a Finisher: He kicked off Extreme Rules 2016 by Helluva Kicking Kevin Owens right in the face. The reaction shots of Miz and Cesaro, the other two competitors in the match, really make it.
  • Being Good Sucks: His stated motivation for his late-2017 Face–Heel Turn — in his eyes, he'd been a good guy for so long... yet gotten absolutely nowhere. Of course, this completely ignores and invalidates his Character Arc in NXT where he chose to become The Fettered despite knowing that Being Good Sucks because he genuinely believed in the morals he stood for.
  • 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.
    • Even more invoked as a heel. Zayn told Bryan that he's still the same fun, charming, lovable guy he always was. Only difference being he wouldn't take anyone's crap anymore and will do anything to achieve his goals. Even if that includes cheating his way to the top and screwing over anyone who gets in his way.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He, 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.
  • Bilingual Bonus: If you're up on your Quebecois slang, you'll enjoy Sami's promo on the Smackdown before Elimination Chamber:
    Sami (in French): Roman Reigns! Ecoute moi bien. Demain soir, t'es chez moi tabarnak!Translation 
  • 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 slow burning feud between Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville starts when Zayn loses a number one contender's match for the NXT Championship against Neville. After the match, Neville extends his hand for a handshake, but Zayn kicks his hand away...only to give him a big hug, showing that there are no hard feelings despite Zayn's loss. A year later, when their friendship is strained and the feud is at its zenith, Zayn finally beats Neville for the NXT Championship. Post-match, the kicked hand-to-hug sequence happens again – only this time with the roles reversed.
    • His heel run from 2017-2023 began and ended with him saving Kevin Owens, his longtime on-and-off best friend.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Downplayed. Zayn's a very talented wrestler but is also a bit quirky and neurotic sometimes which can unintentionally annoy others. This is all apparently true of him in Real Life, with several people going on record saying he's "weird," being annoyed by him when they first meet him, and then ultimately being won over by Zayn without him changing a thing.
    • Apparently his Cloudcuckoolander side comes out while traveling. He once left his and Kevin's car running for over 12 hours during a show. With the keys inside.
  • But Not Too Foreign: The name "Sami Zayn." He wanted to have a more low key Arabic name that wouldn't make him a cultural stereotype heel.
  • But Not Too White: Zigzagged. He's Syrian but white-passing and ginger and is noticeably a shade or two paler than most of the Caucasians on the WWE roster.
  • 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.
  • Carpet of Virility: Zayn has a chest full of bright orange hair, but apparently to his chagrin, it was turned up to eleven on a recent action figure.
  • 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 when he's overjoyed.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: After losing the Intercontinental title to Big E back in December 2020, he became a deranged conspiracy nut, desperate for proof that the WWE was holding him down. It built to the point where he produced an entire documentary offering 'undeniable evidence'...which is looking to be nothing but paranoia.
  • Cool Mask: As El Generico. Averted as Sami Zayn.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: His Undying Loyalty to the Bloodline was severely tested when his former best friend Kevin Owens joined the opposing team for the Bloodline’s War Games match. While Sami was emotionally in tatters over it, he ultimately chose to stay with the Bloodline by preventing the referee from counting the pin Kevin had on Roman and then low-blowing and Helluva-kicking Kevin to let Jey get the pin. Come the 2023 Royal Rumble, Sami pulled the trigger when he turned on the Tribal Chief, leading to him being kicked out of the Bloodline.
  • Crowd Song: Fans sing along to his WWE entrance theme. It should be noted said theme doesn't have lyrics.
    • OLE OLE OLE OLE! OLE! OLE!. For many years, you couldn't go to an indy show without hearing it incessantly. He still gets it in WWE, years later, and even in certain cities after his heel turn.
  • Cultured Badass: Zayn seemed 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.
    • His ska-dancing to his main-roster WWE theme is fairly hilarious, and only gets more ridiculous when he's a heel.
  • 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.
  • Defeat Means Respect: Inverted. Despite Zayn's loss (as well as a previous loss in their 2-out-of-3 falls match) to him at NXT arRIVAL, Cesaro, who had been rude and disrespectful towards Zayn since his debut, finally gave Zayn the respect he wanted.
  • 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 Plates, that's about forty-five minutes.
    • He also wears this hat on the main roster. His feud with Braun Strowman has mostly consisted of Sami getting the tar beaten out of him and continuing to get up.
    • He's also this from a moral standpoint. See The Fettered below
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Took uber-heel Head of the Table, Tribal Chief Roman Reigns out of his shoes with a spear.
  • Dirty Coward: After turning heel and teaming with Kevin Owens, he occasionally slides into this as an interesting inversion of their former dynamic, with Zayn trying to run away from an angry face team/wrestler and Owens wanting to stay and fight.
  • The Dog Bites Back: How Sami’s face turn out of the Bloodline came about. Sami was fully committed to the Bloodline, even willing to attack his former best friend Kevin Owens during the War Games March to help the Bloodline score the victory. However, when Roman started to emotionally abuse Sami, culminating in trying to force him to participate in a vicious assault on Kevin after Roman already beat him in a title match, Sami finally had enough and turned on Roman.
  • Dramatic Unmask: An angry Generico went to attack Kevin Steen after an exhausting match but Steen took advantage of Generico's rage and tore off his mask, revealing his identity to a shocked audience. See Revenge Before Reason.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Sami lists this as motivation for his Face–Heel Turn, claiming that Shane will always overlook him, considering him a good worker, but not giving him opportunities he deserved.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Along with many of the then-NXT roster (including Chris Hero, The Ascension, and Corey Graves), he was one of the zombies during The Undertaker's Wrestlemania 29 entrance.
  • 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: Part of his character arc in NXT, after repeated attempts (and repeated failures) to win the NXT Title.
    • After coming up short in the Wrestlemania 33 battle royal and the six pack challenge a few weeks later, he angrily condemned most of his career as this, a comment he repeated in his post-Hell in a Cell Face–Heel Turn promo.
    • It barely took two months for the Raw writers to have no idea what to do with him. Upon his return, he put on excellent matches with Finn Bálor and Seth Rollins, he was Raw's top heel when it came to mic work, crowds were loving his kayfabe-tweaking "Critic of the Critics" persona... and then the Saudi show rolled around, he had to be fed to Braun Strowman, and hasn't had a true storyline since.
  • Evil Feels Good: According to his promo to Daniel Bryan, it feels amaaaaaaaaaazing.
  • Evil Mentor: Wanted to be Becky Lynch's when they were teaming in the first round of the Mixed Match Challenge. Every week, he would try to get her to tap into her inner-heel (and resist her attempts to turn him back into "the old Sami"). When she eventually did pull a Face–Heel Turn on Charlotte Flair at Summerslam 2018, Sami tweeted Becky that he knew she had it in her.
  • Evil Vegetarian: As a heel, he'll let you know he's vegan, thank you.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: From this to this in only a few months, meant to emphasize his deteriorating mental state and obsession over conspiracy theories.
  • 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.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Shockingly came during the main event of Hell in a Cell 2017, after pulling long-time adversary Kevin Owens out of the path of Shane McMahon as the latter jumped off the top of the cell. After spending several moments seemingly in shock at saving Owens, he then dragged Owens on top of Shane for the three count. Two days later, on SmackDown Live, Zayn cemented his heel turn by stating he was tired of being a nice guy while accomplishing nothing, and embraced Owens to a shower of boos.
  • Family of Choice: His run with Roman Reigns and his team The Bloodline is effectively this. While the rest of the stable is from the Anoa’i Family (except Paul Heyman who is a long time family friend), Sami is just a guy who stuck around the family until they let him in. Between his total loyalty to the group and ability to make them laugh, the family (save Jey) have all embraced him as an “honorary uce” (meaning “brother”). Roman even got him a shirt stating such. Once they begin antagonizing Kevin Owens again, as well as increasingly putting pressure on Zayn to the point of breaking his confidence, Sami's loyalty is torn between both parties. This lasts until he finally turns on them after Roman's Universal Championship match against Kevin by bashing their leader in the back with a chair instead of using it to kill Owens on the Tribal Chief's increasingly abusive orders, even if he took a brutal beating after the act. When called a traitor who abandoned his family, Zayn shot back, saying that a real family wouldn't try to emotionally manipulate someone with "loyalty tests."
  • The Fettered: In contrast to Face wrestlers who either suffer no negative consequences for their code, or claims to have a code despite acting as despicable as the Heel, Sami actively chooses to follow his moral code despite frequently being on the end of Being Good Sucks.
  • 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. Occasionally a Blue Thunder Bomb.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Billed this way in Dragon Gate.
  • Forgot About His Powers: His entire run as the manager for Nakamura and Cesaro seems to be an in-universe example of it, where opponents would try to make Sami actually wrestle and utilize his extensive moveset, only for Sami to either run away or try to land a bunch of flailing punches. He seems to have gotten better by Clash of Champions.
  • Friend to All Children: He wouldn't be a proper luchador parody if he weren'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.
  • The Gadfly: After his heel turn and egged on by Kevin Owens, Sami has just been getting more and more obnoxious. It helps that his trolling is hilarious - he's managed to make his entrance dancing even more over the top, occasionally annoy his best friend Kevin, constantly mock the teams or wrestlers they're facing, and even make putting his glasses on a hilariously dickish move.
  • The Heart: "The Heart and Soul of NXT"
    • Became this for the Bloodline, as picking on Sami was genuinely one of the most heelish things they could do. Even after opposing Roman Reigns, Sami still tried to play this role for Jey Uso.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Following Roman Reigns defeating Kevin Owens at the 2023 Royal Rumble, the Bloodline began assaulting Owens, much to Sami's extreme discomfort. When he's handed a steel chair by Roman, he's expected to attack Owens with it...only for him to strike the Tribal Chief with it instead. This in effect severed his association with the Bloodline, turning him face for the first time since October 2017.
  • He's Back!: Ten months after undergoing double shoulder surgery, Zayn got the annual "surprise return" at the Raw after Wrestlemania 35, though due to incredibly odd writing decisions, he was shown backstage before actually making his entrance.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kevin Steen/Owens in Real Life. Also, with Prince Fergal Devitt/Finn Bálor in NXT, to the point Shipping them has become a fun fad amongst NXT fans (which is nearly encouraged by Balor).
  • Honor Before Reason: In his own words, he's not really about doing the smart thing, he's about trying to do the right thing.
    Foley: What you did for me out there? It was dumb – don't get me wrong. It was dumb, but I appreciate it, and I thank you for it.
    • An evil, zig-zagged version of this was the big reason for his helping Owens at HIAC 2017. Initially, he was all for Shane getting revenge on Owens for what KO did to Vince and insulting his family, but when Shane had Owens beat near the end of their HIAC matchnote , instead Shane ascended the Cell for his big "Leap of Faith." Sami, in his mind, felt Shane was no longer going after Owens to bring honor back to the McMahon family, but rather to simply end Owens and his career, and intervened as such, pulling Owens to safety a split-second before Shane crashed through the table.
  • I Have Many Names: He has also wrestled as Stevie McFly.
  • Insufferable Genius: As a babyface, he tended to annoy tag team partners by assigning them duties in a match or incessantly talking strategy. As a heel, he lectures the WWE Universe on how toxic and brainwashed and entitled they are.
    • Apparently, he's a bit of one in Real Life. Kevin Owens has spoken multiple times about how Sami is a control freak while booking matches, but that he knows more about wrestling than just about anyone. The New Day podcast had Xavier Woods revealing that the WWE locker room calls Sami "the Larry David of WWE".
  • I Warned You: Subverted. Having been betrayed by Kevin Owens before, Zayn warns Chris Jericho of suffering a similar fate as Owens' new best friend. Fast-forward five months and Owens has betrayed Jericho during a celebration of their friendship. Despite his past differences with Jericho, Zayn says he takes no joy in having predicted this and even comes to Jericho's aid when he gets attacked by both Owens and Samoa Joe.
    • Played straight with his warning to Shane prior to HIAC 2017, citing that he himself knows all too well the sheer brutality that Owens is capable of outside or inside of a cell. Shane rebuffed him rather callously, which ended up being part of the final straw that led to Sami's Face–Heel Turn at HIAC 2017.
    • Kevin tried to tell Sami that the Bloodline was just using him, but Sami didn't want to admit that his new "family" was a negative influence. Weeks go by of Kevin trying to make Sami see sense, and finally, Kevin tells Sami the week before Royal Rumble 2023 that "I won't let you use that chair on me. [The Bloodline] are going to use it on you if you're not careful". Come the Rumble, this is Sami's "final test" - taking out a defenseless Kevin Owens with a steel chair, and being beaten with the same chair when he refuses.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Which of course made Kevin Steen into his enemy due to his "metamorphosis" into a monster through and through. As Sami Zayn, he's a pure babyface that always tries to do the right thing, even if he knows it's not the smart thing to do. Eventually subverted with his heel turn - Owens has succeeded in corrupting him.
  • Jerkass: As a heel, his persona is riddled with ego, condescension,and zero respect for anyone else, superstar, announcer, or fan.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Zayn was right, Shane McMahon had won the Hell in a Cell match against Kevin Owens, and didn't have to try and further punish Owens by attempting a Leap of Faith off the Cell onto Owens. Zayn's saving his "brother" wasn't the action of a bad guy, but his subsequent actions were.
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: He and Kevin Steen in promotional posters for ROH Final Battle 2012.
    • WWE blatantly swiped the shot for Owens vs. Zayn at Battleground 2016.
  • Kayfabe:
    • A tongue-in-cheek version. Even in shoot interviews, wrestlers will (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.
    • Zayn and Owens never fully break kayfabe on their contempt for one another even in shoot interviews. They'll preface or follow up every story of respect or praise for one another by saying that they still hate each other.
    • Finally, Sebei has never, in eighteen years, publicly admitted to wrestling as El Generico. His response to an interviewer bringing it up is "that wasn't me" and even in his most normal-guy interviews, talks around the subject so as never to confirm his former gimmick. That's dedication.
  • 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 a four corners match (and to a lesser extent, to be out of the ring in general, as the 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.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: It's said that the reason El Generico became a pro wrestler in the first place was that he could earn enough money to provide for his twenty-six brothers and sisters.
  • Master of Disguise: How he breaks the news to Becky Lynch that they'll be partners for the Mixed Match Challenge - wearing an RKO hoodie, some hilariously retro glasses, a grey wig, and a fake beard.
  • Morality Pet: For Kevin Steen. Or not. This is true in both ROH and NXT.
  • Motive Decay: His Heel run suffers this in 2019. He hates the fans for criticising WWE's management... despite spending all of last year and the year before fighting against WWE management and getting screwed over by them.
  • Nice Guy: A pure babyface as Sami Zayn, he's so nice and morally upright that others see his unwillingness to cut corners as a hindrance to his own success.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Unfortunately, for all his prowess, Zayn wears the collar for the legit concussion (caused by his Helluva Kick being a bit off) that proved to be the final straw for Corey Graves's in-ring career. Fortunately for Graves, it wasn't a total loss, as he was a decent wrestler that has proved to be perhaps even better at his current color commentary and host roles.
  • No-Respect Guy: Zayn is the resident nice guy that others take passing verbal jabs at in segments even when he's not around. In kayfabe, Stephanie McMahon hates him and generally makes his life more difficult. She once put him in a match against Braun Strowman on Raw as "punishment" for not winning the Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series 2016. Despite Raw's men's team (which Strowman was on) also losing their match at the same event that night, Zayn is the only one who had to suffer any repercussions whatsoever, with some of the others even getting rewarded with shots at championships.
  • Non-Indicative Name: As El Generico. 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 especially taken advantage of during WWE's Middle Eastern tour, to the point of featuring Zayn in many of the tour's promotional packages.
  • Parts Unknown: "Tijuana, Canada" as El Generico. Averted as Sami Zayn, where he's billed from Montreal, Quebec.
  • 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: The running joke since he went to WWE is that Generico and Zayn are two different people and the former left to take care of the orphans in Mexico. This even extended to Kevin Steen, who stated that Generico did indeed go to Mexico…and his corpse was found in a ditch. Steen later contradicted this, likely having forgotten it, when he himself was on his way to WWE and said that he was going to help Generico with the orphans.
  • Power Stable: Tozawa-juku, in Dragon Gate.
    • Served as the mastermind and mouthpiece for the Artist's Collective, with Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro.
    • Joined The Bloodline as an “honorary uce.”
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: His and Kevin's signature spot - locking eyes with each other and immediately running to hockey-punch each other.
  • Red Baron: El Generico has The Generic Luchador. Sami Zayn has several — The Underdog from the Underground, The Guardian Angel, The Critic of the Critics, The Great Liberator...
  • Revenge Before Reason: After Generico and Colt Cabana won a grueling and bloody double chains tag team match against Kevin Steen and Steve Corino, Generico was still intent on punishing Steen. In his anger, Generico put himself in a vulnerable position and Steen was able to turn the attack around, steal Generico's mask and humiliate him in front of a large audience.
    • Also, in WWE, it's been pointed out when the two have been in multi-man matches for any sort of title, that he and Steen (now known as Kevin Owens) tend to lose focus on the objective and spend most of their time trying to kill each other instead of focusing on trying to win the championship. Commentators regularly postulate that each is unhealthy for the other's career for this very reason.
  • Rule of Cool: He and Samuray Del Sol (aka WWE's Kalisto) 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 Syrian guy from Canada playing a Mexican? Just go with it.
  • Running Gag: Before a tag team match, when Zayn talks about the strategy for his team's matches, expect his teammates to leave in the end.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He continued to defend Mick Foley after Foley was fired by Stephanie McMahon, defying her orders to stand down even though he knew it would just get him into more trouble.
  • Screwed by the Network: An In-Universe example. It's been noted several times that Stephanie McMahon, at least on a storyline level, doesn't like Sami Zayn, and it's explicitly stated to have had an effect on the matches he's getting. Mick Foley once put Zayn in a match with Braun Strowman as an alternative to having Stephanie fire him.
    • His character has looped around to believing this is true, when it likely isn't. Sami has become a conspiracy nut, believing that the higher-ups of WWE are "holding him down" and involved in a massive plot to constantly screw him over.
  • 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. Further moves include the exploder suplex, a through-the-ropes suicide dive chained into a tornado DDT, wristlock into a springboard tornado DDT, and the Michinoku Driver.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: During and after the final moments of his match against Neville at TakeOver: R Evolution, he drops a slew of F-bombs that had to be muted. On the Talk is Jericho podcast, he confesses that he cusses aloud during crowd pops to his opponents' entrances as a way to amp himself up for his matches.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: What Jey has effectively become during Sami’s time in the Bloodline. While everyone else in the group has accepted him as one of their own, Jey has been aggressively dismissive of Sami. As a result the two’s animosity have caused more than one loss in matches for the Bloodline. After Sami made his allegiance with the Bloodline clear at Survivor Series: WarGames, however, Jey finally warmed up to him.
    • This gets a heartwarming payoff on the 1/23/23 episode of Raw, when Jey comes to Sami's defense when he's put on trial by the Bloodline as his loyalty is brought into question. The evidence Jey provides convinces Roman to grant Sami a reprieve note 
  • Spiteful Spit: El Generico and Kevin Steen greeted each other this way at Final Battle 2010.
  • String Theory: In his documentary, Sami has a giant wall of conspiracy theories, complete with red string and the shot framed exactly like Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Daniel Bryan was willing to overlook a lot of things he and Owens did after turning heel, but he was not willing to ignore the two of them beating the holy hell out of Shane McMahon, and fired both of them for it.
    • After his Heel–Face Turn at Royal Rumble 2023 and defection from The Bloodline, and eventual loss to Roman Reigns at Elimination Chamber 2023, Sami would attempt to mend his broken relationship with his former best friend Kevin Owens and enlist his help against The Bloodline, only for the latter rebuke his offer. Kevin never forgot about the months of abuse he suffered at the hands of The Bloodline when Sami was still part of the group and wants nothing more to do the latter. It wouldn't be until the 3/17/23 episode of SmackDown when the two would finally reconcile.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: On NXT, Zayn's quest for the NXT Championship and his reputation as the nice guy incapable of winning "the big one" come to a head in his feud with long time friend Adrian Neville. Zayn's stance on winning and doing things the honest way earned him criticism from Neville, the dominant champion who never outright cheated, but proved he was willing to cut corners to retain the belt when he was pushed to the brink – even if doing so came at Zayn's expense. Neville cited his friend's kindness and lack of a killer instinct as reasons he would never win when it truly mattered. These words lit a fire under Zayn, who put his career on the line and slapped Neville in anger, seemingly done with being the nice guy that always showed respect to others. At one point in the championship match, the referee gets knocked out and Zayn has a perfect opportunity to smash the championship belt in Neville's face for an easy win, proving that not only can he win the big one, but also that he isn't "too nice" to be champion. Zayn comes right to the brink of going through with it, but ultimately decides against using the belt...and wins the match clean. In doing so, he keeps both his career and his friendship with Neville, wins the big one, and most of all, stays true to himself.
  • Tag Team:
    • In Ring of Honor and WWE, with Kevin Steen (Owens).
    • 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.
  • Theatrics of Pain: An understated master of it, to the point where he makes big impact spots look like they've legitimately hurt him or he's unconscious as a result.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Watching Shane McMahon nearly free-fall thirty feet onto Sami's once-and-future best friend Kevin Owens made Sami realize how far Shane would go.
    • On the Raw after Wrestlemania 35, Sami doubles down on the cynicism and reveals that far from making him revert to the fan-favorite Determinator he once was, his injury and time off have forced him to realize that 1) he works for a toxic environment and 2) the incessant expectations and criticisms of the fans have poisoned him against them.
  • 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.
  • Translator Buddy: It pains him to see everyone in WWE misunderstanding his, um, "genius" friend, Shinsuke Nakamura, so Sami has offered his services.
  • Troll: Became a massive one when he turned heel, especially with how over-the-top he is about his usual happy entrance since then.
  • Unconscious Objector: At TakeOver: Rival, he gets powerbombed four times by Kevin Owens and is more or less knocked out, but still rolls over weakly to break up a pin.
  • Undying Loyalty: His defining feature in the Bloodline storyline. Sami will run in to eat chair shots targeting other members and attack his own former friends to help the Bloodline score victories.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Sami Zayn was livid on the March 4, 2022 edition of SmackDown, where he lost the Intercontinental championship to Ricochet, thanks to a distraction from Johnny Knoxville.
  • 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.
    • He and AJ Styles seem to have become this, as of Clash of Champions 2020. AJ says in the "Day Of" documentary that, basically, Sami annoys the hell out of him, but he's been a fantastic opponent over the past four years and he relishes wrestling against him.
    • Outside of kayfabe, numerous wrestlers such as Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega, Chuck Taylor, and even his arch-rival/best friend Kevin Owens have cited El Generico/Zayn to be the best in the world — whether for his in-ring skills, creativity, and his ability to connect with the audience and create chemistry with his opponents.
  • 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.
    • It took nearly seven minutes to get him to do this in a Chikara match against Sara Del Rey, a fact which del Rey was not pleased about (she wanted to wrestle!).
  • Written-In Absence: In Real Life, he was banned from performing on WWE's Saudi Arabia shows until 2023 due to his Syrian heritage and charity work. Because he's one of the company's most prominent performers and frequently involved in major storylines, Creative has to bend over backward to have him conveniently "injured" or "attacked" just before each show. During a press conference ahead of Crown Jewel 2022, fans started chanting "We want Sami," leading Roman Reigns to chime in and say this:
    Roman: After how you acted tonight, you don't deserve Sami.
    (Reigns storms off as the audience boos)
    • Averted in 2023 when it was confirmed that Sami would be appearing in Saudi Arabia for Night of Champions, due to Syria and Saudi Arabia resuming their diplomatic working relationship.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): El Generico


Not Feeling Ucey

The Bloodline just can't hold it together when Sami Zayn says Jey Uso isn't feeling "Ucey".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / Corpsing

Media sources: