As announced on the recent episode of WWE Backstage, Sami Zayn has been stripped of the Intercontinental title and a tournament - which will commence on the upcoming episode of SmackDown - has been announced to crown the new Champion.
It's common knowledge that WWE has given its Superstars the option to not wrestle or be a part of the tapings during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Dave Meltzer stated in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Sami Zayn exercised that option and his refusal to return to work has attracted a lot of backstage heat.
Meltzer noted that while nobody can open up about it publicly, there is a lot of unhappiness backstage over Sami Zayn not making his WWE return despite holding on to a title.
Meltzer revealed the following in the Newsletter:
Even though nobody can say it publicly for obvious reasons, there is a lot of unhappiness that Zayn exercised the option that they gave everyone regarding not wrestling if you don’t want to right now.
Details of what happened between Sami Zayn and WWE before he was stripped of the title
As reported earlier by Sportskeeda's Tom Colohue, WWE did ask Sami Zayn whether he was ready to return to work but his status was uncertain until he worked the WrestleMania 36 PPV.
Vince McMahon and co. felt that Zayn was not going to be back anytime soon and they made the decision to strip him of the title.
Sami Zayn has not reacted well to the news on social media as the leader of 'The Artist Collective' revealed in a Tweet that he disagreed with WWE's decision. Zayn claimed that he was undefeated and therefore still the Intercontinental Champion.
His disapproval may mean nothing to the WWE as the show must go on, which brings us to the IC title tournament that will kick off this week on SmackDown.
Who do you think will capture the vacant Championship at the end of the tournament? Let us know your predictions in the comments section.Published 15 May 2020, 13:55 IST