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Intercontinental title vacated; tournament to crown new champion begins on SmackDown this week

Sami Zayn won the Intercontinental championship from Braun Strowman at Elimination Chamber back in March, then successfully defended it against Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 36 in April. After that, he disappeared from WWE television.

It seemed he was one of the wrestlers who took WWE officials up on their offer of staying home during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

That meant the Intercontinental title has disappeared and the promotion has had enough of that. As first reported Monday and confirmed on WWE Backstage Tuesday night, the belt has been vacated because Zayn is “currently unable to defend it.”

A new champion will be crowned through a tournament that will begin on this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown. No details on the tournament have been announced past the point that one will take place, and the winner will become a new champion.

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