According to reports going around the web, and confirmed by Mike Johnson at PWInsider and Dave Meltzer at Wrestling Observer, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are headed home from WWE’s European tour after last night’s SmackDown broadcast from Manchester.
This means they’ll miss the last five blue brand shows on the tour, including today’s show in Leeds.
Neither Johnson nor Meltzer has confirmed why KO and Zayn are headed home. There’s rampant speculation around the web about why they’ve left the tour, and PWInsider’s post does say they were “sent home”, which usually indicates some kind of disciplinary action.
Both men have a reputation for being passionate advocates for themselves and their creative ideas, to the point being a “pest” was integrated into Sami’s character. And as has been mentioned on this site and elsewhere recently, several of their friends and allies backstage have recently left the company.
Their on-screen angle right now is also that they’re disgruntled employees right now. WWE’s shown a willingness to use rumors of backstage heat in kayfabe lately with Enzo Amore (and possibly even with Baron Corbin or Nia Jax), and a widely leaked punishment could be a cool ‘reality’ era set-up for Owens and Zayn assaulting Shane McMahon’s Survivor Series team next week.
Work? Shoot? We’ll let you know when someone reports more one way or the other Cagesiders. Until then, do what wrestling fans do best!
UPDATE: Ryan Satin at Pro Wrestling Sheet says “two independent sources” tell him this is “some sort of disciplinary move”, but Sheet has been “unable to obtain more information to confirm if that’s the case.”
UPDATE II: Sports Illustrated says sources internal and external to WWE told them this was a Vince McMahon-approved move to punish the offense of “‘going into business for themselves’ regarding their on-camera work during yesterday’s SmackDown.”