On this week's episode of WWE Backstage, it was announced that Sami Zayn had been stripped of the Intercontinental Championship. WWE stated the title had been vacated because Zayn was "unable to compete" but reports in recent weeks noted that The Underdog From The Underground had decided not to travel to SmackDown tapings because of the coronavirus pandemic. WWE previously told all Superstars that they didn't have to wrestle during the pandemic if they were uncomfortable doing so.
Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that there is "a lot of unhappiness" in WWE that Zayn decided not to come to the tapings. The former Intercontinental Champion has not wrestled on WWE TV since WrestleMania 36 when he defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the IC title.
Zayn being stripped of the title differed from what the company decided to do in the cases of Pete Dunne and Jordan Devlin. Both NXT Superstars held onto their respective championships, although Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher have since lost the NXT Tag Team Titles. Neither The Irish Ace or Stallion Pete are able to travel to the United States at the moment because of the pandemic and are stranded in the United Kingdom and Ireland.