Possible reason why WWE stripped Sami Zayn of the IC title

  • Sami Zayn and Jordan Devlin's contrasting situations have not gone unnoticed.
  • WWE has started a tournament to determine Sami Zayn's replacement as the Intercontinental Champion.
Danny Hart
Modified 18 May 2020, 01:42 IST

Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn

Wrestling News Co’s Paul Davis is reporting that sources within WWE have told him that the company decided to take the Intercontinental Championship off Sami Zayn to “send a message” to other Superstars.

As Sportskeeda's Tom Colohue mentioned on this week’s episode of the Dropkick DiSKussions podcast (28:00 mark of the video below), Zayn will not be competing in WWE for the foreseeable future due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sami Zayn stripped of the IC title

Paul Davis noted that top Superstars’ positions in WWE are safe if they choose not to work during the pandemic.

However, following the decision to strip Sami Zayn of the Intercontinental Championship, there is a feeling internally in WWE that Superstars further down the card will lose their spots if they do not perform.

"According to a couple of WWE sources I spoke with, the feeling among some people at TV this week was that stripping Zayn of the Intercontinental Championship was done to send a message. WWE will always say that wrestlers can take time off and not worry about their spot and that certainly would apply to a top star like Roman Reigns, but for others that is not a guarantee and wrestlers in the mid and lower card certainly took notice."

Friday’s episode of SmackDown saw Elias defeat King Corbin and Daniel Bryan defeat Drew Gulak to advance in an eight-man tournament to crown the new Intercontinental Champion.

Meanwhile, in NXT, a tournament is taking place to determine an Interim Cruiserweight Champion, as the title’s current holder, Jordan Devlin is unable to make the trip from Ireland to the US due to travel restrictions.


Davis added that Vince McMahon could have taken a similar approach with the Intercontinental Championship, and the contrasting title situations with Sami Zayn and Jordan Devlin have “not gone unnoticed” backstage.

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Published 17 May 2020, 02:42 IST
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