WWE news: Sami Zayn opens up on his locker room struggles and backstage problems

Zayn is WWE's Intercontinental champ

Sami Zayn beat AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy to win the Intercontinental title at Clash of Champions on Sunday night. 

Actually, he'll tell you he 'successfully defended' the belt - rather than winning it - because he claims never to have lost it in the first place. 

In Zayn's absence, Hardy and Styles both had runs with the title, but there's no doubting 'The Underdog from the Underground' is now the undisputed champ. 

For a while now, Sami's character has been that of a cowardly, annoying heel and he plays it to perfection. 

That's what made the whole squabble over 'who the real IC champion is' a success. But while being annoying is great for a heel character on television, it's not ideal in the locker room. 

Speaking recently on the 'The New Day: Feel The Power' podcast, Zayn opened up about how, when he first joined WWE, some backstage found him annoying and immature.

That perception led to management getting involved and him changing his own behaviour.  

Zayn won the ladder match on Sunday

"WWE made me aware of some of my own actions. I came in and the big mantra was perception is reality," Zayn said, per WrestlingNews.

"Even though I was 28 when I got there, I don’t think I was a fully mature person in some ways. I don’t think I was fully aware that I had my interpretation of what I thought I was and then there were a lot of people who didn’t agree with that.

"I see myself one way and they are seeing me in a very different way. It made me a lot more aware of how my actions are perceived by people who are not me. 

Zayn has previously been perceived as 'annoying'

"For example, what I might perceive as fun-loving, let’s have some fun chat on the bus might be perceived as annoying. I always only looked through my own lens, but being around these people with all these different points of view starts making you look at yourself through their lens." 

Zayn then went on to explain how different the WWE locker room is compared to the independent scene.

"On the independents, it’s a very different mindset. We are all just buddies. I would not call it a competitive environment," he continued. 

Zayn explains the difference in locker rooms

"Everybody wanted to have great matches, but it’s not like you viewed the other person as a threat.

"When you come to WWE, especially back then, it’s different now, but it fostered a culture that the person sitting next to you was not your friend.

"He was a threat to your success. It was the culture at the time. I remember struggling with that."

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