Finn Balor, despite being United States Champion, will not be competing at WrestleMania 38 this weekend. Balor took back-to-back losses on SmackDown the night before Mania, being the last man eliminated from the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (by Madcap Moss) then taking a pinfall loss to Austin Theory later in the night. WWE fans have been openly upset that both Balor and Intercontinental Champion Ricochet are missing from WrestleMania and Balor responded with the caption “I HEAR YOU” in a tweet on Saturday.
Sami Zayn, who was heavily involved in the Intercontinental Championship picture prior to his Johnny Knoxville program, defended that decision in a recent interview in a recent interview with Bleav in Wrestling’s Rick Ucchino.
“I mean they’re titles. It’s not about the respect the title gets, it’s the performer that holds the title. For example, if Roman Reigns were the US Champ, don’t worry, that title is getting on the show. It has happened to I think where the title has ended up in the hands of a performer who, it’s always been a breakout title, who is on the verge of a breakout and sometimes it goes one way, and sometimes it goes the other,” Zayn said (h/t WrestlingNews.co). “Ricochet didn’t have a ton of television time going into his title. It makes sense that he got the title, which is great for him, but it’s at a weird time where it’s in the build to WrestleMania. I don’t think it’s a disrespect to the title itself. It’s just where the chips fall. Sometimes..that’s one of the things people don’t understand about being on the inside of WWE and how chaotic all of this is and how sometimes it’s not about the ‘the Intercontinental Title is not important, let’s dismiss it.’ Sometimes it’s just dominoes fall and you’re the odd man out. It happens to almost everybody.
“Look at Seth Rollins, it actually turned into a storyline, which I think has been great, but the storyline almost played on a real-life thing where like the matches lined up this way and it was, ‘Oh my God, how is Seth left out?’ It totally has…I don’t think it’s a slight on the championships, it’s just circumstances. Let’s all just take a breath and calm down,” he added.
Does Zayn have a point? Or should WWE have found some way to get Balor and Ricochet on the card given that they’re champions? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments!