In a surprising twist on WWE RAW, fans were left puzzled when Sami Zayn, originally slated to compete in the main event, was replaced.
The initial announcement had Zayn teaming up with Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins and Cody Rhodes to face Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio, and Finn Balor of the Judgment Day.
However, a backstage altercation with JD McDonagh led to Zayn’s unexpected exit from the match, making way for Shinsuke Nakamura.
WWE RAW Behind the Scenes: The True Story
While many believed this change was merely a plot device to reintroduce McDonagh and set the stage for Nakamura’s heel turn, there’s more to the story.
Zayn is grappling with genuine injury concerns, specifically related to his left elbow. Observant fans might recall a similar injury John Cena had in 2013, evident from the noticeable lump on Zayn’s elbow post-attack.
Delving Deeper: The Nature of Zayn’s Injury
Wrestling Observer Radio shed light on the situation, revealing that the attack by McDonagh was a narrative cover for Zayn’s bursa sac injury.
The swelling was so pronounced that it resembled the size of a golf ball. The initial plan was for Zayn to take a brief hiatus, especially since he wasn’t scheduled for SummerSlam.
The decision to not feature a tag team title match at SummerSlam led to the angle being shot to give Zayn some rest.
However, the rest period was meant to be short, which is why there was no decision to strip Kevin Owens and Zayn of their titles.