This week's WWE SmackDown Live saw some pretty major plans revealed for AJ Styles and Chris Jericho, but sadly for Sami Zayn, it seems that he will continue to be cast as the WWE's favorite fall guy. Let's kick off our round up with Sami Zayn. When Zayn moved from Monday Night Raw to SmackDown Live in the post-WrestleMania "superstar shakeup," the WWE universe would have been expecting Zayn's career to receive a boost.
During his time on Monday Night Raw, Zayn was cast as the red team's perpetual loser. At the beginning of 2017 Zayn became the main target for Braun Strowman. We were treated to the sight of Strowman chasing Zayn around the arena, and when the two finally met in the ring, Zayn was handed his head by Strowman. The purpose of those segments is now much more clear. Strowman has developed an ongoing feud with Roman Reigns, and seems set to be one of the Raw brand's highlights for months to come.
Zayn, on the other hand, was shuffled off Raw to SmackDown Live, and rumors suggested that he was set for a big push. As was reported on the Inquisitr, it was even suggested that Zayn was set to take a heel turn. Instead, it is business as usual for Zayn. As reported on the official WWE website Zayn was on the brink of victory against bad-boy Jinder Mahal, when The Singh Brothers ran interference. Zayn was distracted and hit by Mahal's signature Cobra Clutch Slam. As a result, Zayn continues in his role as the WWE's "nearly man."
Zayn must surely be dispirited to find that, even after a roster change, he can't win a wrestling match.
SmackDown Live Sees Chris Jericho Lose His United States Title To Kevin OwensBack in February Kevin Owens turned on his former friend Chris Jericho. The in-ring fallout set up a match between Owens and Jericho at WrestleMania 33. Jericho took Owens title, but on last night's SmackDown Owens gained his revenge. Jericho received quite a beating from Owens, and had to be helped out of the ring after receiving medical assistance. According to Sportskeeda, Jericho lost his title for the most peculiar reason.
Away from the wrestling ring, Chris Jericho is the lead singer with heavy metal Fozzy. The bands official website shows that Jericho and his bandmates hit the road for their Judas Rising tour, this coming Saturday, May 6. The tour continues through May 25, which of course means that Jericho is unavailable to compete at the Backlash PPV on May 21. That date will see Jericho take center stage in Morgantown, West Virginia, instead of taking to the ring in Chicago for Backlash.
With the United States Championship up for grabs at Backlash, it had been rumored that Jericho would face AJ Styles, last night with the title on the line. Styles did confront Jericho, before the Jericho vs. Owens match, but he did not feature in the night's events. With Owens now the U.S. champion, and Jericho reportedly injured, the WWE have now announced Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles for the U.S. Championship at the blue team PPV event.
Jericho's "injury" frees him up to tour with his band, and Styles gets the opportunity to regain a championship title. The Phenomenal One has been a revelation since his WWE main roster debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble. Many in the WWE universe were upset to see John Cena return from a hiatus to take the WWE Championship title from Styles at the 2017 Royal Rumble. Styles held the blue team together almost single-handedly through 2016, so losing to Cena, and a WrestleMania match with Shane McMahon seemed scant reward for the WWE's most prodigious wrestler.
With Owens seemingly teaming up with Samoa Joe and Triple H to form a new heel stable, Backlash may prove the ideal opportunity for AJ Styles to execute his long-rumored face turn.
[Featured Image by WWE]