WWE announced this week that Sami Zayn has been stripped of the WWE Intercontinental Championship. A tournament will begin on SmackDown this Friday to crown a new champion.

Zayn won the title in March while teaming with Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakaura in a three on one handicap match to defeat then-champion Braun Strowman.

Sami only defended the title once, defeating Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 36, which aired in April but was taped in late March. Zayn has been off of WWE television since, reportedly due to health concerns regarding working due to the coronavirus pandemic.

WWE told employees in March that they did not have to work during the COVID-19 outbreak if they chose not to, and that the decision would not be held against them in the future. There is reportedly a lot of people upset in WWE over the decision to strip Zayn of the title, according to Dave Meltzer in the latest issue of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

According to Meltzer, there are people in WWE who are currently working for job security reasons despite not being comfortable doing so. This reportedly goes back to before the firings and furloughs in April.

As noted, Zayn responded to being stripped of the title, tweeting, “I disagree with this decision and no matter what anyone says, I am still undefeated and therefore still the Intercontinental Champion.”

Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

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