For months now, WWE has partnered Sami Zayn with wrestlers such as Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro on Friday Night SmackDown. He has fallen into more of a managerial role and hasn’t had a single match in 2020. Fans have wondered if he was moving away from in-ring competition, but there is apparently a very good reason that he has wrestled at all in months.
Zayn has not done badly as the mouthpiece for Nakamura and Cesaro, but he has always been a great in-ring superstar. His last televised match was a six-man tag back on SmackDown in late December, but he had only wrestled once on TV before that since August 2019.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, by way of Ringside News, Zayn is actually dealing with an injury at the moment. Reportedly, his shoulder is once again bothering him and not wanting to risk further damage, WWE has decided to keep him away from the action.
Not wanting to take away his momentum or time onscreen, WWE has purportedly kept him in his managerial role for months. Since he can’t wrestle, the promotion still wants to use his gift of gab to further storylines on Friday Night SmackDown.
Even though the angle was cut short, Zayn played a big role in the feud between Nakamura and Braun Strowman for the Intercontinental Title.
Zayn’s last overall match was at a WWE Live Event on January 19, but seeing as it wasn’t televised, it hasn’t been figured into his stats. In the match, Zayn teamed with Nakamura and Cesaro in a losing effort to Strowman and The New Day.
Throughout his wrestling career, Zayn has dealt with shoulder injuries that have caused him to miss in-ring time. Back in 2015, he dealt with such an injury during his time as NXT Champion when he was feuding with Kevin Owens over the title.
In 2018, he suffered torn rotator cuffs and underwent surgery for both of them, as reported by the official site of WWE. After those surgeries, he missed almost an entire year as his last match was against Bobby Lashley in June of that year and he didn’t wrestle again until April 2019.
Sami Zayn has done an excellent job as the manager for a couple of SmackDown superstars on Friday nights, but his true place is in the ring as a wrestler. Hopefully, the talented star will heal up quickly from his shoulder issues and soon be back in the ring for WWE.