El Generico

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El Generico
El Generico (Chikara's The Foggiest Notion).jpg
Rami Sebei in 2012 as El Generico.
Birth name Rami Sebei[1][2]
Ring name(s) El Generico
El Local[3]
Rami Sebei
Sami Zayn[4]
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[5]
Billed weight 205 lb (93 kg)[5]
Born (1984-07-12) July 12, 1984 (age 30)[6]
Hill Valley, Quebec, Canada[6]
Resides Montreal, Canada
Billed from Tijuana, Mexico[1][7]
Montreal[5]
Trained by Patrick "Patty the Kid" Smart[1]
Jerry Tuite[6]
Savio Vega[6]
Debut 2002[1]

Rami Sebei[1][2] (born July 12, 1984)[6] is a Canadian professional wrestler of Syrian descent,[5][8] currently signed to WWE under the ring name Sami Zayn. Sebei is best known for his work on the independent circuit under the ring name El Generico, using the character of a luchador from Mexico with a catchphrase of "Olé!".[9] Generico wrestled while masked from his debut in 2002 until 2013. Upon signing with WWE, Sebei began wrestling without a mask in the promotion's developmental territory, WWE NXT.

Generico achieved much success in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as a two-time PWG World Champion and five-time World Tag Team Champion. He is the only person to have won both of PWG's annual tournaments, the Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament in 2010 and the Battle of Los Angeles in 2011. Generico has also held the ROH World Television Championship and World Tag Team Championship with Kevin Steen, with whom he later earned the 2010 Feud of the Year award from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Having wrestled internationally, Generico won the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship in Germany and Dramatic Dream Team's KO-D Openweight Championship in Japan.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (2004–2013)[edit]

Generico prominently made his name in the Canadian-based wrestling promotion International Wrestling Syndicate. In 2004, members of the IWS started making regular appearances in the United States, which helped him get noticed by the popular independent company Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Since then, Generico has been a PWG regular. He has held the PWG World Tag Team Championship five times with four different partners: with Human Tornado as 2 Skinny Black Guys, Quicksilver as Cape Fear, Kevin Steen, and Paul London as ¡Peligro Abejas!.

Generico is also the only participant to consecutively appear in the first eight BOLA tournaments from 2005.

On February 24, 2007, Generico defeated former partner Tornado to win the PWG World Championship during his title run with Cape Fear. Later that year, while Generico was still World Champion, he and Steen defeated PAC and Roderick Strong for the belts, making Generico the only man in PWG history to hold both the World and World Tag Team Titles not once, but twice at the same time.

In mid-2009, Generico entered a lengthy feud with the tag team Men of Low Moral Fiber, consisting of Kenny Omega and Chuck Taylor, recruiting Colt Cabana, referee Rick Knox, and former partner Human Tornado (effectively reuniting 2 Skinny Black Guys) to stand by his side.

At PWG's 6th anniversary event, Threemendous II, 2 Skinny Black Guys defeated current champions The Young Bucks in a non-title match, giving the Bucks their first tag team loss in almost a year and a half. On November 21, 2009, during the second night of the 2009 Battle of Los Angeles, Generico and Kevin Steen lost a title match against the Bucks.[10] Later, he and Cabana saved the new PWG World Champion Kenny Omega from Brian Kendrick and The Young Bucks, and made peace with him as they now had a common enemy.[11]

On May 9, 2010, Generico teamed up with "Intrepid Traveler" Paul London to form a duo introduced as ¡Peligro Abejas! (literal translation: Danger Bees!) in the fourth annual DDT4 eight-team tag tournament. After defeating Chuck Taylor and Scott Lost in the first round and the Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark) in the semifinals, Generico and London defeated the Young Bucks in the finals of the tournament to not only win DDT4, but also the PWG World Tag Team Championship, Generico's fifth time he has held the title.[12] On December 11, 2010, El Generico earned himself a shot at the PWG World Championship, when ¡Peligro Abejas! successfully defended the PWG World Tag Team Championship against Chris Hero and the PWG World Champion, Claudio Castagnoli, the team known collectively as The Kings of Wrestling.[13] Generico received his shot at the PWG World Championship on January 29, 2011, during the WrestleReunion 5 weekend, but was defeated by Castagnoli.[14] On April 9, El Generico teamed with Ricochet, who filled in for London who was unable appear at the event, in a match, where they lost the PWG World Tag Team Championship back to The Young Bucks.[15][16] On August 20, Generico entered the 2011 Battle of Los Angeles, defeating Claudio Castagnoli and Willie Mack in his first round and semifinal matches. Later that same night, Generico defeated old rival Kevin Steen in the finals to win the tournament, becoming the first person to have won the PWG World and World Tag Team championships as well as the DDT4 and Battle of Los Angeles tournaments. In the process, Generico also earned himself a match for Steen's PWG World Championship.[17] On October 22, El Generico defeated Steen in a ladder match, following outside interference from The Young Bucks, to win the PWG World Championship for the second time.[18] On March 17, 2012, El Generico lost the title back to Steen in a three-way match, which also included Eddie Edwards.[19] After agreeing to a deal with WWE, El Generico made his farewell appearance for PWG on January 12, 2013, when he and Kevin Steen entered the 2013 Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament. After wins over the Briscoe Brothers and Future Shock (Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly), El Generico and Steen were defeated in the finals of the tournament by The Young Bucks.[20]

Chikara (2005–2012)[edit]

(Left to right) El Generico, Shane Matthews and Scott Parker as ¡3.0lé! during the 2011 King of Trios in April 2011.

On February 19, 2005, El Generico made his debut for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania–based Chikara, taking part in the 2005 Tag World Grand Prix, where he teamed with Kevin Steen as Team IWS. The team would make it to the quarterfinals of the tournament, before being defeated by the SuperFriends (Chris Hero and Mike Quackenbush).[21] El Generico returned to Chikara three years later to take part in the 2008 King of Trios, where he teamed with Player Uno and Stupefied, again, as Team IWS. After defeating the F1rst Family (Arik Cannon, Darin Corbin and Ryan Cruz) in their first round match on March 1, Team IWS was eliminated from the tournament later that same day by Los Luchadores de Mexico (Incognito, Lince Dorado and El Pantera), who would go on to win the entire tournament.[22] The following year, on March 27, El Generico returned for the 2009 King of Trios, this time teaming with Matt and Nick Jackson as Team PWG. They would, however, end up being eliminated from the tournament in the first round by The Osirian Portal (Amasis, Escorpion Egipcio and Ophidian).[23] The following day El Generico entered the Rey de Voladores tournament, but was defeated by Kota Ibushi in his four–way elimination semifinal match, which also included Jigsaw and Nick Jackson.[24] On the third night of the tournament, El Generico was defeated by Arik Cannon in a singles match.[25]

El Generico appearing at a Chikara show in 2013.

El Generico's next appearance for Chikara would occur almost two years later on January 23, 2011, when he faced Eddie Kingston in a losing effort.[26] For the 2011 King of Trios El Generico came together with 3.0 (Scott Parker and Shane Matthews) to form ¡3.0le!. The team was eliminated from the tournament in the first round by The Osirian Portal (Amasis, Hieracon and Ophidian).[26][27] The following day El Generico entered his second Rey de Voladores and defeated Pinkie Sanchez, Zack Sabre, Jr. and Marshe Rockett in his four–way elimination semifinal match to qualify for the following day's finals.[26][28] The following day El Generico defeated the 1-2-3 Kid in the finals to win the 2011 Rey de Voladores.[26][29] El Generico returned to Chikara on July 30, 2011, when he reunited ¡3.0le! with Scott Parker and Shane Matthews in a six man tag team match, where they defeated F.I.S.T. (Chuck Taylor, Icarus and Johnny Gargano).[26][30] The following day ¡3.0le! was defeated by the Spectral Envoy (Frightmare, Hallowicked and UltraMantis Black) in a six man tag team match.[26][30]

Ring of Honor (2005–2012)[edit]

El Generico first wrestled for Ring of Honor (ROH) in 2005, earning a spot in a Four Corner Survival match at Do Or Die IV. He teamed with the Ring Crew Express (Dunn and Marcos) in the Trios Tournament 2005, losing to the Rottweilers. At Stalemate, he lost to Roderick Strong, then teaming with Sal Rinauro against the Embassy at New Frontiers (and losing). He only received a few more matches, losing to Austin Aries at Fate of an Angel and getting his first win against fellow IWS alumnus Kevin Steen at The Homecoming (a match that didn't even make it to the event's DVD). His final ROH match of this run would be a loss to Homicide at Dragon Gate Invasion.

It should be noted that both Generico and Steen would stop being used as part of the promotion at around the same time. The criticism of the wrestlers was especially harsh by Ring of Honor fans, who did not think of either was worthy of being on the ROH roster. However, this wouldn't be either man's final appearance in the company.

Generico returned to ROH in late 2006, making an appearance at Dethroned, where he was defeated by Brent Albright. Following this, he took part in (and lost) a Four Corner Survival match to Jimmy Rave at Final Battle 2006. In 2007, El Generico formed a permanent team with Kevin Steen, taking on the Briscoe Brothers at the Fifth Year Festival: Philly. Much like many previous matches, they would be defeated in this encounter, but the two men had a memorable showing that eventually earned them a full-time spot on the roster. Throughout 2007, the two teams feuded with one another, having several memorable matches including (but not limited to) a great match on the Driven pay-per-view, ROH's second-ever. Their feud would come to an end following a brutal Street Fight at Death Before Dishonor V: Night 1, a Steel Cage match at Caged Rage, a 2-Out-of-3 Falls match at Manhattan Mayhem 2, and a ladder match advertised as a "Ladder War" at Man Up. This final match became the Main Event of ROH's third pay-per-view.

Generico in 2008.

Also during this time, Generico broke out as a singles competitor, having a strong run in the Race to the Top Tournament of 2007. He defeated (in order) Delirious, Chris Hero and Davey Richards, only to lose in the final match of the tournament to Claudio Castagnoli, who won. After the feud with the Briscoes ended, Generico and Steen spent several months feuding with the Hangmen Three in an inconclusive feud that carried on into 2008. They also worked through the tag ranks and attempted to win the tag titles, but came up short in a tag title tournament at Up For Grabs. Generico took ROH World champion Nigel McGuinness to the limit at Age of Insanity, but eventually lost.

On September 19, 2008, Generico and Steen finally won the ROH World Tag Team Championship by beating The Age of the Fall at Driven.[31] Generico lost a second match to McGuinness at Glory by Honor VII. Generico was booked in another match against McGuinness at Caged Collision, which he lost. On April 10, 2009, at a television taping, Generico and Steen lost the ROH World Tag Team Championship to The American Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards).[31] Generico then suffered a knee injury, sustaining damage to his Medial collateral ligament.[32]

On December 19, 2009, at Final Battle 2009, ROH's first live pay-per-view, after a loss to The Young Bucks, Steen turned heel by attacking El Generico.[33] He then formed a team with Colt Cabana and together the two of them started a feud with Steen and his new partner Steve Corino. At the following pay-per-view, The Big Bang!, Generico and Cabana defeated Steen and Corino via disqualification, when Steen used a chair on his former partner.[34] On June 19 at Death Before Dishonor VIII, Steen defeated El Generico in a singles match.[35] On September 11 at Glory By Honor IX Generico and Cabana defeated Steen and Corino in a Double Chain match, when Cabana forced Corino to tap out. After the match Steen attacked El Generico and unmasked him.[36] On December 18 at Final Battle 2010 El Generico and Steen ended their year–long feud in an unsanctioned Fight Without Honor, where Generico put his mask on the line against Steen's ROH career. In the weeks leading up to the event, Generico debuted a new darker character and an all black outfit.[37] In the end El Generico won the match and thus forced Steen out of Ring of Honor.[38] On March 2, 2011, ROH announced that El Generico had signed a new contract with the promotion.[39]

Generico and Kevin Steen feuded for two years in Ring of Honor.

On April 1 at the first night of Honor Takes Center Stage, El Generico was defeated by Michael Elgin from the House of Truth, led by Truth Martini, following interference from a masked man.[40] The following day, El Generico defeated another member of the House of Truth, Roderick Strong, but was after the match attacked by Elgin and Martini. Colt Cabana came out to make the save, but was stopped by the House of Truth's advantage in numbers. This led to Christopher Daniels coming out, but he ended up turning heel and hitting El Generico with the Book of Truth and Cabana with the Angel's Wings, thus joining the House of Truth and revealing himself as the man who had cost El Generico his match during the first night of the pay-per-view.[41] On June 26 at Best in the World 2011, Generico defeated Daniels to win the ROH World Television Championship.[42] He would lose the title to Jay Lethal on August 13 at the first Ring of Honor Wrestling tapings under the Sinclair Broadcast Group banner.[43] On March 30, 2012, at Showdown in the Sun, El Generico faced the reinstated Kevin Steen in a losing effort in a Last Man Standing match.[44] El Generico disappeared from ROH after this, however on October 13 at Glory By Honor XI: The Unbreakable Hope, after Steen successfully defended his ROH World Championship he received a parcel containing Generico's mask.[45] El Generico returned to ROH on December 16 at Final Battle 2012: Doomsday, where he unsuccessfully challenged Steen for the ROH World Championship in a ladder war.[46] This would be his last appearance with the company before signing with the WWE.

Japan (2007–2009, 2011–2012)[edit]

Generico travelled to Japan during the summer of 2007, where he worked for the Dragon Gate promotion as the gaijin (foreign) representative of the New Hazard stable.[47][48] He returned to the promotion in July 2008, where he was announced as Tozawa-juku's "foreign exchange student."[49] El Generico made his third tour of Dragon Gate in October 2009, when he wrestled as a member of the Kamikaze stable.[50]

In early 2011, El Generico began making semi-regular appearances for the Japanese Union Pro promotion, making his debut on January 3 with a win over Shinichiro Tominaga.[51] On September 19, El Generico won his first title in Japan, when he defeated Isami Kodaka for the DDT Extreme Division Championship.[52] After successful title defenses against Shuji Ishikawa and Sanshiro Takagi,[53][54] he lost the title back to Kodaka on January 3, 2012.[55] El Generico has also made some appearances for Union Pro's parent promotion, Dramatic Dream Team (DDT), most notably defeating Kota Ibushi in Ibushi's return match from a shoulder injury on May 4, 2012.[56] On August 18, El Generico wrestled his first match in the Nippon Budokan, defeating the debuting Konosuke Takeshita.[57] On September 30, El Generico defeated Kota Ibushi to win the KO-D Openweight Championship, DDT's top title.[58][59] El Generico made his first successful title defense on October 21 in a rematch against Ibushi.[60] On November 25, El Generico defeated KO-D Tag Team Champion Mikami for his second successful defense of the KO-D Openweight Championship.[61] On December 23, El Generico lost the KO-D Openweight Championship to Kenny Omega in his third defense.[62]

Dragon Gate USA and Evolve (2012)[edit]

On March 31, 2012, El Generico made his debut for Dragon Gate USA, when he defeated Chuck Taylor, Cima, Lince Dorado, Rich Swann and Samuray del Sol in a six-way match.[63] On April 13, El Generico made his debut for Evolve, a promotion closely affiliated with DGUSA, losing to Low Ki.[64] After another loss to Ricochet on May 11,[65] El Generico picked up his first win in the promotion on May 12 by defeating Sami Callihan.[66] El Generico then had two singles matches against Samuray del Sol; the first on June 28 at Evolve 14 was won by El Generico and the rematch the following day at Evolve 15 was won by Samuray.[67][68] El Generico returned to Dragon Gate USA on July 28, when he and Samuray were defeated in a tag team match by AR Fox and Cima.[69] On September 8, El Generico and Samuray del Sol faced off in another Evolve main event, which was won by El Generico.[70] On November 4 at Dragon Gate USA's Freedom Fight 2012, El Generico teamed with Samuray in a tag team match, where they defeated Genki Horiguchi and Ryo Saito.[71] The two continued their winning ways on December 8 at Evolve 18, where they defeated the Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno and Stupefied).[72]

Other promotions[edit]

From 2005 onwards, El Generico has made several appearances for the German Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw) promotion.[73] On March 4, 2012, El Generico defeated Tommy End to win wXw's 2012 16 Carat Gold Tournament.[74] On May 19, El Generico defeated Big Van Walter to also win the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship.[75] On August 12, 2012, he lost the title to Axel Tischer in a four-way match, which also included Bad Bones and Karsten Beck.[76] In October 2009 El Generico traveled to Poland to take part in Do or Die Wrestling's event in Warsaw, defeating Michael Kovac in the main event of the show.[77] In May 2010, Generico competed in the main-event of Capital City Championship Combat's show, Stand Alone. On October 23, Generico competed at Pro Wrestling Superstars' inaugural show in Jacksonville, North Carolina, where he teamed with Paul London to defeat Joey Silvia and Jake Manning.[78] On January 11, 2011, El Generico wrestled in a tryout dark match for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) at the promotion's Impact! tapings, losing to Amazing Red.[79] The following day he defeated T.J. Perkins in another dark match.[80] On April 20, 2011, El Generico made his South American debut, when he wrestled for Peruvian promotion Leader Wrestling Association (LWA), facing Apocalipsis, Axl and Kaiser in a number one contender's match to determine a challenger for Caoz, the promotion's "Campeón Máximo". In the end, Kaiser came out of the match victorious.[81] On April 24, El Generico wrestled for Chilean promotion Xplosion Nacional de Lucha (XNL), losing to Crazy Sid in an XNL Championship number one contender's three–way match, which also included XL.[82] On February 26, 2012, El Generico visited Russia for the first time, making his debut for the Independent Wrestling Federation (IWF), where he faced Ivan "Locomotive" Markov and won.[83] Later in the year, on September 16, they wrestled in a rematch and this time Markov was victorious.[83] On September 8, 2012, Generico made an appearance for Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), unsuccessfully challenging Masada for the CZW World Heavyweight Championship.[84] After signing with WWE, El Generico made his final Canadian independent appearance on January 18, 2013, when he worked for the Hart Legacy Wrestling (HLW) promotion in Calgary. In the opening four-way elimination match, El Generico and Samuray del Sol were victorious over Cam!kaze and Pete Wilson, Brian Cage and Trent Barreta, and Andrew Hawkes and Ryan Rollins. As a result, the two earned a spot in a main event ten man tag team match, where they teamed with Barreta, Davey Boy Smith, Jr. and Jack Evans in a losing effort against the team of Teddy Hart, Brian Cage, Cam!kaze, Flip Kendrick and Pete Wilson, with Generico being pinned for the win by Hart.[85][86]

WWE (2013–present)[edit]

Sami Zayn at the 2013 SummerSlam Axxess event.

On January 9, 2013, it was reported that Sebei had signed with WWE.[2][87][88] The following day it was specified that Sebei and WWE had agreed to a verbal deal that would be signed, after Sebei passed all drug and medical tests.[89][90] On January 30, it was reported that Sebei had passed his medical tests and officially signed his contract with WWE.[91] On February 13, Sebei made his debut for WWE's developmental territory WWE NXT, but did not wrestle.[92] Sebei's NXT in-ring debut took place at a live event on March 7 in Tampa, Florida, where he wrestled a tag team match while working unmasked and under his real name.[93][94][95]

Sebei eventually settled on the ring name Sami Zayn.[4] Zayn made his televised debut on the May 22 NXT by defeating two former champions in WWE, first defeating Curt Hawkins in the opening match and then challenging and scoring an upset win over Antonio Cesaro later in the show.[96] The following week he took part in an 18-man battle royal to determine the number one contender to the NXT Championship, but was eliminated by Mason Ryan.[97] On the June 12 NXT, Zayn suffered his first pinfall loss in NXT in a rematch with Cesaro.[98] On the July 17 NXT, Zayn failed to win another number one contender match also involving Cesaro and Leo Kruger.[99] On the July 31 NXT, Zayn teamed with NXT Champion Bo Dallas against Cesaro and Kruger; after Cesaro and Zayn brawled to the back, Dallas lost the match and later blamed Zayn for the loss.[100][101] On the August 21 NXT, Cesaro defeated Zayn in a two-out-of-three falls match to conclude the feud.[102] On September 6, Zayn made his WWE debut at a house show in his hometown of Montreal, where he defeated Cesaro.[103] When Zayn targeted Dallas' NXT Championship, Dallas cost Zayn his match against Cesaro's fellow Real American, Jack Swagger.[104] Dallas held an open challenge to determine the next title contender but banned Zayn from competing,[105] so Zayn masqueraded as the masked El Local and defeated Dallas to earn his title shot.[3] The match occurred on the October 16 NXT; General Manager JBL restarted the match when Zayn won despite Dallas' foot on the ropes, but not when Dallas sent Zayn into an exposed turnbuckle to retain his title.[106]

After tying a Beat the Clock challenge with Adrian Neville by defeating Leo Kruger,[107] Zayn lost a number one contender's match to Neville on the November 27 NXT.[108] Zayn moved on to feud with Kruger and the feud culminated in Zayn winning a two-out-of-three falls match on the January 1, 2014 NXT.[109] After that, Zayn's obsession with his loss to Antonio Cesaro the previous year led to him challenging Cesaro to a rematch on the February 27 NXT Arrival;[110] Cesaro prevailed again but showed respect to Zayn after the match.[111] Corey Graves then feuded with Zayn, with Zayn losing to Graves via referee stoppage on the April 3 episode of NXT after Graves capitalized on Zayn's head injury.[112] On the May 8 episode of NXT, Zayn participated in a 20-man battle royal for a NXT Championship shot, with Zayn being involved in a three-way tie.[113] As a result, Zayn faced the other two winners, Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd in a triple-threat match on the next episode of NXT, where Kidd won to become #1 contender.[114] At NXT Takeover, Zayn faced Breeze in another #1 contender match, but suffered a controversial loss.[115]

In wrestling[edit]

Generico performing his "Olé Kick", a running big boot on Rob Vegas in the corner of the ring.
Generico executing a spin-out powerbomb on Dasher Hatfield.
Generico performing a diving crossbody onto Hatfield.
Generico performing a over the top rope somersault dive onto Tim Donst.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

El Generico celebrating his Chikara Rey de Voladores win in April 2011.
  • Britannia Wrestling Promotions
    • PWI:BWP World Catchweight Championship (1 time)
  • Chikara
  • Elite Wrestling Revolution
    • Elite 8 Tournament (2004)[140]
  • GBG Wrestling
    • GBG Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[141]
  • North Shore Pro Wrestling
    • NSPW Championship (1 time)[142]
  • Pro Wrestling Prestige
  • Puerto Rico Wrestling Association
    • PRWA Caribbean Championship (1 time)[148]
  • SoCal Uncensored
    • Match of the Year (2006) vs. PAC, November 18, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla[149]
    • Match of the Year (2007) vs. Bryan Danielson, July 29, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla[150]
    • Most Outstanding Wrestler (2006, 2007)[149][151]
    • Tag Team of the Year (2006) with Quicksilver[149]
    • Wrestler of the Year (2007)[152]
  • STHLM Wrestling
    • STHLM Wrestling Championship (1 time)[153]

Lucha de Apuesta record[edit]

Wager Winner Loser Location Date Notes
Career El Generico Kevin Steen New York City, New York December 18, 2010 Mask vs. Ring of Honor Career match at Final Battle 2010[38]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]