The first round of the WWE Intercontinental Championship tournament took place on this week’s episode of SmackDown.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Sami Zayn, who won the Intercontinental Championship during the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in March, was stripped of the championship.
Zayn was last seen on WWE TV at WrestleMania 36, where he defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the title. He has elected to take advantage of WWE’s alleged policy of allowing workers to stay at home if they are concerned about the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Zayn has been less than happy about being stripped of the title, stating when the decision to strip him of the title was announced that he disagreed with the decision.
“I am still undefeated and therefore still the Intercontinental Champion,” wrote Zayn in a Tweet.
Whether Zayn is truly upset or being punished for not coming to work, or if he’s working an angle that could pay off when he comes back to the ring is still being debated. But Zayn continues to post on social media his objections to the Intercontinental Tournament.
On last night’s episode of SmackDown, Zayn’s WrestleMania 36 opponent Daniel Bryan won against Drew Gulak to advance in the tournament. Also last night, Elias beat King Corbin to advance in the tournament.
After SmackDown, Zayn tweeted that he still considered himself the Intercontinental Champion and lambasted the tournament participants.
“These men have no self-respect, and it says a lot about them that they were willing to participate in this tournament to begin with,” wrote Zayn.
It should be noted that Shinsuke Nakamura, Zayn’s ally, is also in the tournament. Zayn, however, excluded Nakamura in his “no self-respect” comment.
Currently, the next round of the tournament is scheduled for next week’s SmackDown and will feature AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura and Sheamus vs Jeff Hardy.