Over the past several weeks, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have been a thorn in the side of Shane McMahon, Daniel Bryan, and especially AJ Styles. At the WWE Royal Rumble event, Styles is set to defend the WWE Championship against Owens and Zayn in a Handicap Match. With just over a week left before the event, a lot of fans were surprised that both challengers weren’t featured on SmackDown Live last night in Laredo.
WWE aired an excellent package summarizing the feud between Owens, Styles, and Zayn. However, some fans are wondering why Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were absent from SmackDown Live last night. It has been reported that the reason why they missed the show was due to an injury. Apparently, Kevin Owens is suffering from a minor injury right now, but he’s missing events as a precaution more than anything else.
WWE officials want and need Owens healthy for the ‘Royal Rumble‘ PPV. That’s why he was pulled from a few live events over the weekend and he did not appear on SmackDown Live last night. Sami Zayn was also kept off the show because he and Owens have been a unit over the past few months. It wouldn’t have made sense to have Zayn appear alone, especially heading into the Handicap Match at the ‘Royal Rumble‘ event.
Recently, it’s been rumored that WWE officials have major plans for Kevin Owens on the grandest stage of them all. According to one such rumor, Vince McMahon wants Owens to capture the WWE Championship before WrestleMania 34. On paper, John Cena would challenge and win the WWE Title from Kevin in that scenario. That plan will become crystal clear if Kevin Owens walks out of the ‘Royal Rumble’ with the title.
Other reports are claiming that AJ Styles will find a way to walk out of Philadelphia with the WWE Title on his shoulder. No matter what WWE officials have planned for the Handicap Match next weekend, the result will have a huge impact on the card for WWE FastLane and WrestleMania 34. The expectation is that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will return to SmackDown Live next week to finish the build to the ‘Royal Rumble.‘