Sami Zayn is the Real Intercontinental Champion
In the first shock for the night, Sami Zayn made his return to WWE for the first time since WrestleMania and started a feud for the Intercontinental Championship right away. Jeff Hardy retained the IC title against Shinsuke Nakamura after an open challenge.
As Hardy went up the ramp after the match, he turned around to Sami Zayn’s music. Zayn came out with the Intercontinental Championship belt which he actually never lost in the first place.
Zayn was stripped off the title after he refused to return to tapings amid COVID-19 spread. WWE then held a tournament to crown the new champion which AJ Styles won after defeating Daniel Bryan in the final.
With AJ Styles also coming towards the ramp, Zayn took advantage of the distraction to drop Hardy with a Helluva kick. Afterwards, in a backstage interview, he teared into Hardy for claiming to be the champion.
Paul Heyman Returns to Screen
Throughout the SmackDown last night, WWE Producer Adam Pierce was searching for Roman Reigns to get the contract signed for the match at Payback. When he did find him, Roman asked for some changes in the contract.
Roman also promised that he will break everyone at Payback and win the Universal Championship. Just as he said, “it is a spoiler and a fact”, the camera turned to Paul Heyman who was sitting beside Roman.
With Brock Lesnar expected to be away from WWE, the promotion has seemingly taken a call to pair Heyman with Roman and has likely turned him heel.