WWE superstar Sami Zayn facing backstage heat over refusing to return amid Covid-19 pandemic: Report – other sports


Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Sami Zayn and the WWE.
Sami Zayn and the WWE.(WWE)



In March, when the coronavirus pandemic led to lockdown in several parts of the United States of America, and the crowds were banned on wrestling shows, the WWE had a huge choice on their hands – whether to cancel the shows, and give their employees an off, or to continue the show with no one in attendance. WWE chairman Vince McMahon decided the show must go on – and WWE events, including pay-per-views started taking place at WWE Performance Center in Florida. The WWE superstars were given the option that they can choose to stay at home if they are concerned about safety issues.

The WWE higher-ups denied that wrestlers or employees who choose to stay at home amid the pandemic will be given any punishment or face any sort of backstage heat. Two months later, it does not feel like the professional wrestling company has stayed true to that word.

Also read: Has WWE Chairman Vince McMahon found his next megastar?

Firstly, it was Roman Reigns, who decided to pull out of WrestleMania – and refused to come to work. Reigns, who is a cancer survivor, and recently had another baby with his wife, has cited concerns for his family as the reason for his refusal to work in WWE shows. In response, Vince reportedly ordered WWE staff to not mention Reigns name altogether on the show – and then recently, edited him out of a WrestleMania footage.

And now, a similar heat maybe on Sami Zayn, who has also chose to stay at home citing health concerns. Zayn, who had retained his InterContinental Championship title after defeating Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania, has not returned since the show, and earlier this week, was stripped of his title.

Also read: Asuka becomes new WWE Raw Women’s champion as Becky Lynch relinquishes title

Now, a recent report from Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer (h/t WhatCultureWrestling) states that “there is a lot of unhappiness” from WWE higher-ups that “Zayn exercised the option they gave everyone,” though “nobody can say it publicly for obvious reasons.” Meltzer, in the report also added that “I know of several people in the company who are not comfortable about working right now but were not able to take WWE up on the offer for job security reasons, and this was before all the firings.”

In response to the announcement of him being stripped of the title by Fox on Twitter, Zayn wrote: “I disagree with this decision and no matter what anyone says, I am still undefeated and therefore still the Intercontinental Champion. -SZ”. Later, the WWE on FOX questioned the fans “The new Intercontinental Champion should be: ____________________________”. In response, Zayn wrote three words: “Ashamed of themselves”.



Zayn’s reaction could be a kayfabe as he plays a heel (or the bad guy) on WWE, and his comments fit the character. But, it could also mean that there could be some troubl boiling between the two parties.

Thank you for subscribing to our daily newsletter.