Sami Zayn hasn’t wrestled a match on WWE television since August, which has left many fans wondering if he’s able to compete. However, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, by the way of WrestleTalk, the former NXT Champion has been recovering an injury.
“Zayn was having trouble with his shoulders in recent months which is why he’s been wrestling less and has been managing [Shinsuke] Nakamura. But we’re told he’s okay now and can wrestle but this is the role they have him in.”
In recent weeks, Zayn has been used as Nakamura’s mouthpiece, which was brought up during a promo segment on the Friday Night SmackDown go-home show before Crown Jewel. Zayn was challenged to be a part of a six-man tag team match against Roman Reigns, Ali, and Shorty G, but he drafted Cesaro in to replace him.
At the time of this writing, there’s no word yet on when Zayn will return to televised in-ring competition. While he has been medically cleared to compete, WWE seems intent on keeping him in his current role for the time being.
Zayn hasn’t been completely absent from the squared circle, though. He has competed in matches at house shows, having wrestled against Buddy Murphy during WWE’s Australian tour in October.
The news that Zayn has been recovering from an injury also explains why WWE kept him off television earlier this year. As The Inquisitr previously reported, it was believed that the company’s creative team had nothing for him. There were also rumors that he was being punished after mentioning AEW on an episode of Monday Night Raw.
Zayn has been plagued with shoulder injuries since joining WWE in 2013. In 2015, he was out of action for seven months after damaging his left rotator cuff. Last year, he dealt with another lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering the same injury, this time in both shoulders.
Zayn has been unfortunate with injuries as they tend to occur when he’s finding momentum. When he got hurt last year, he was starting to get over as a heel following an unsuccessful spell as a babyface.
Many fans believe that Zayn deserves a bigger push as he’s entertaining on the mic and a talented performer between the ropes. He’s received acclaim in recent weeks for his promo segments, but he’s found championship gold hard to come by during his time on the main roster.
WWE management might never see Zayn as a top star, but they clearly see value in him. His heel promos earlier this year — which saw him criticize entitled fans — were reportedly Vince McMahon’s way of lashing out at the WWE Universe.