WWE Slams into Ottawa
Photos by WWE
The World Wrestling Entertainment, more commonly known as the WWE, is an amazing organization that I have always found to be, well…entertaining. It has produced legendary characters like Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper and of course, names that are more recent like The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. The WWE also revolutionized pay per view and, in my opinion, wrote the book on how to promote live events. You’re welcome Dana White!
It is well documented that when the first annual Wrestlemania extravaganza debuted in 1985, CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon risked everything on a vision that took place in front of approximately 20,000 people at Madison Square Gardens. This event combined athletics and entertainment with a splash of celebrity. Fast forward to 2017 and, much like the Olympics, this annual event now receives multiple bids from cities around the world and brings hundreds of millions of dollars to the city that hosts it. The last five Wrestlemanias alone have had an average attendance of over 80,000 people.
In addition, the company is very community focused with anti-bullying & reading campaigns and encouraging people to vote, not to mention their considerable work with the Make-a-Wish program.
This Sunday, the WWE will descend upon Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Centre for an evening of body slams, clotheslines and leg locks. To get us ready for the event we recently had the opportunity to speak with one of the top superstars today, Sami Zayn.
Ottawa Life: What got you interested in the WWE?
Sami Zayn: I was a lifelong fan. One of my earlier memories is watching WWE with my Dad. It’s something that was always in my life and then as I became a teenager it kind of became an obsession. I always say WWE Superstars, in a lot of cases, are usually fans who took it too far. I just couldn’t get enough. It took a long time but I am here now and it’s a dream come true.
You are not only very talented in the ring but your segments back stage are hilarious. Is that part of your personality?
Yes it is one aspect of my personality. There is a little bit of everything. No one person is just one thing. It all goes into my body o f work and helps fans identify with me more.
What would you say you like most about being your position as a WWE Superstar?
Especially of late I am realzing the ability we have to reach people and affect their lives and to use that for positive things. One thing I am very excited about is I recently launched a fundraising campaign called ‘Sami For Syria ‘ and that’s to launch a mobile clinic for civilians in Syria who have no access to health care. That isn’t something I would have the platform to do before I was in WWE to raise that kind of awareness.
For those people who haven’t seen a WWE event live, who will be checking it out for the first time on Sunday, what can they expect to see?
I always say there is almost no way you can come to a WWE event and have a bad time because there is something for everybody. If the drama speak to you then the athletics will and if the athletics doesn’t speak to you the characters do. There is something for everyone. When we come through Canada, especially being a proud Canadian myself, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto that whole region is great wrestling fans. If you’ve never been to show and you’re surrounded by that energy it’s very infectious. It’s hard not to have a good time. Expect to have a good time.
I would like to ask you some rapid-fire questions and I always start with what is your favourite movie of all time?
It’s really hard to say but one that comes to mind is Pulp Fiction
If you could partner with any WWE superstar past or present who would it be?
Maybe Eddie Guerrero.
I know you are in an angle (storyline) with Mike Kanellis, if you had to have a Diva in your corner who would it be?
Of all time, I don’t know maybe Chyna but of the current roster I would say Becky Lynch. I am a big fan of hers. She has a lot of the same appeal that I do and I have known her for years. In a hypothetical situation if Mike and Maria (Mike’s wife) were ganging up on me and I needed help I’d go with Becky Lynch.
Would you rather be in the main event of Wrestlemania or win the Royal Rumble?
Main event of Wrestlemania.
Who would be your dream Wrestlemania opponent? Past or present superstar?
In a more realistic sense the answer would be Kevin Owens just because of the history we have and I think that would be fitting. In a more fantasy way I would say Bret Hart.
I’m sure growing up he was a huge influence to you.
Thank you for your time and I wish you all the best.
The WWE Live SummerSlam Heatwave Tour is at Canadian Tire Centre Sunday August 6 at 7pm. Tickets can be purchased here http://www.ticketmaster.ca/event/100052B7D0EB9B32
To learn more about Sami’s organization got to SamiforSyria.com