Even though Sami Zayn has been absent due to concerns over coronavirus, WWE is now saying something different. One week ago, Zayn had the Intercontinental Championship taken from him, and a tournament was going to determine a new champion. After just one day of saying that Zayn was "injured" for storyline purposes, WWE has changed the preview once again to take that part out.
On WWE's official website, the details of the championship tournament said that Zayn was "unable to compete" due to an injury. That was as of Thursday night, but the preview changed by Friday morning to remove any mention that Zayn suffered an injury.
Zayn won the Intercontinental Title at Elimination Chamber in early March after The Artist Collective defeated Braun Strowman. At WrestleMania 36, Zayn successfully defended the championship in a match against Daniel Bryan.
Due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, Zayn has chosen not to appear on camera or perform in the ring. That led to WWE creating the Intercontinental Title tournament and having eight superstars compete for the right to win the vacant belt.
The tournament began on last week's episode of Friday Night SmackDown with Bryan and Elias already advancing. Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus and AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura will take place on this Friday's show.
Fans had already jumped all over WWE for stripping the title from Zayn since he was not wrestling due to his concerns. On the air, announcers merely said that Zayn was "unable to defend his title" in the necessary 30-day span, which is why WWE took it from him.
Along with the changes made to the reasons why Zayn isn't wrestling, WWE is saying the title "will be held in abeyance" until the end of the tournament. They are no longer reporting the title is vacant but suspended until the tournament concludes and there is a winner.
In NXT, Jordan Devlin was the Cruiserweight Champion when the pandemic began, and he has not been able to compete due to travel restrictions. A tournament consisting of eight superstars is currently ongoing to determine an interim champion during this time.
WWE hasn't actually confirmed that Sami Zayn won't get the Intercontinental Championship back when he returns. The confusing details of the tournament and reasons for Zayn's absence make it appear as if there could be two champions in the future. Either way, Zayn is no longer listed as "injured" despite WWE saying he was for about 24 hours.