Sami Zayn’s first WWE promo against Cesaro, currently a heel who’s haranguing the audience in a variety of languages, May 22 2013 (Thanks to @ayrabmoozlum for helping me with the Arabic transliteration and letting me know it means “You wanna fight?” in a Syrian dialect of Arabic).
This promo hits me hard for a couple of reasons:
- First, the sheer delight of having Sami Zayn–well-known for having spoken exactly zero languages fluently in public for over a decade–casually speak three languages in his very first appearance.
- Second, the most important moment and sentence in this promo, the one that sets the tone for Sami’s character from here on in: when he smiles at the audience and says “Let’s change this here.” He could have looked at Cesaro and said “Oh, you don’t speak Arabic? I’ll change it then.” But instead he addresses the audience, he includes them: let’s. With one word he pulls in the crowd, makes them part of something bigger, something better, something kinder–a world where knowing “a bunch of languages” isn’t automatically a bullying heel thing, a world where it’s normal and good to be fluent in Arabic and French. “Let’s” is Sami’s most powerful word–he uses it at the beginning of his most important promo, after his championship win: “Let’s talk,” he says. “Let’s talk about what this means.” He doesn’t talk at the audience, he talks with them. How effortlessly he gathers us up, how gently he makes us part of a wider, more thoughtful world.