WWE on FOX recently took to Twitter and abruptly revealed that Sami Zayn is no longer the WWE Intercontinental Champion. The company claimed that Sami Zayn was forced to vacate his title because he hasn't made an appearance on WWE SmackDown in weeks. According to WWE, a tournament will be conducted on this week’s WWE SmackDown to find a new Intercontinental Champion.
BREAKING NEWS:@SamiZayn is unable to compete and defend the Intercontinental Championship, therefore @WWE has declared the title vacant. A tournament to crown a new Champion will begin on Friday Night Smackdown on FOX. pic.twitter.com/5qZgUyL9rC— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) May 13, 2020
Though WWE didn’t reveal the reason behind Sami Zayn’s absence from recent episodes, many fans believe that the champion is taking precautions against the COVID-19 pandemic by staying at home. Sami Zayn became the WWE Intercontinental Champion by defeating Braun Strowman at Elimination Chamber. After that, Sami Zayn successfully defended his title against Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 36. That was also the last time Sami Zayn was seen in the WWE ring.
According to many, Sami Zayn recently had his wisdom teeth removed, because of which he’s taking a break from WWE. Some fans also claim that Sami Zayn is still recovering from his undisclosed injury which he suffered almost a year ago.
In lighter news, I had my wisdom teeth taken out last week so I've been on an #AllPuddingDiet for days and now I'm ripped to shreds.— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) April 20, 2020
There has been speculation that WWE forced Sami Zayn to vacate the title because the Intercontinental Championship is a major title at WWE SmackDown and attracts a lot of viewers. Because WWE SmackDown is not hosting any Intercontinental Championship matches for the past few weeks, they are seemingly losing viewers. Last week’s WWE SmackDown drew an average of 2.025 million viewers on FOX.