Monday it was reported WWE was going to strip Sami Zayn of the Intercontinental title. Last night they formally announced the move, along with a general overview of their plan to crown the next champion.
Zayn is believed to be sitting out the shows the company is producing during the pandemic, as WWE has said any talent can do without fear of consequences. Some have pointed to taking the belt as a negative repercussion for Sami, but I don’t buy it. Championships are just props, and it’s often hard to see what value Raw and SmackDown’s secondary titles even have as accessories.
The real test will come when we see how Zayn is booked when he returns. Will he still have a prominent role on television as an upper mid-card heel? Or is he going to be on Main Event? Will The Artist Collective resume, or have Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro been re-assigned as King Corbin’s court?
I’m getting side-tracked here, though. You clicked on this link to see what Sami had to say after he learned he was no longer Intercontinental champ.
I disagree with this decision and no matter what anyone says, I am still undefeated and therefore still the Intercontinental Champion. -SZ https://t.co/SUFsBFeRDB— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) May 13, 2020
Pretty basic, in-character response. The glass-is-half-full perspective is that this could set Zayn up to feud with whoever wins the tournament to crown the next Intercontinental champion when we he comes back.
Time will tell.