Sami Zayn returned to WWE television this week after spending the last nine months out of action due to a pair of torn rotator cuffs. The former NXT Champion had surgery done on both shoulders to repair the tears, and seemed to be back at full strength when he challenged Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Championship on Monday Night Raw. Unfortunately the veteran may not be back to full strength, as he explained in an interview with Canadian news outlet TVA Sports on Monday.
"I feel my shoulders and arms heavier than usual," Zayn said [translated from French to English]. "Even after nine months, I'm not exactly where I would like to be. But just before these recent episodes of inflammation, I felt the best shape I had been in a long time."
While Zayn initially appeared to be back as a babyface when he first appeared on Raw, he quickly made it clear after losing to Balor that he's still a heel.
In a promo that he stated he personally wrote, Zayn claimed he didn't miss the WWE fans at all and that they were responsible for turning professional wrestling into a "toxic" environment. He then appeared on SmackDown Live just before the main event, but instead of cutting another promo he simply told the crowd they weren't worth it.
Zayn said in his interview that former WWE writer Robert Evans, who reportedly quit during the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2019 induction ceremony the day before WrestleMania 35, advised Zayn to change up his character upon his return.
"It was a little inspired by my [time off]. I realized that I had a lot of bad habits and the [time off] allowed me to see and correct them," Zayn said. "I had some idea and one of them went a step further in the process, but was not accepted. So, I didn't know what to do, and Robert Evans, who is a good friend, suggested me to become, kind of a critic of the most passionate fans. Then, we decided to add to that, the bad habits that I had developed over the years. I would blame others for that, then I would direct my anger over the habits, to the fans."
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