Reports have surfaced as of late that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were sent home early from the UK tour due to ‘conduct deemed detrimental to the WWE’. A move that got its stamp of approval by Vince McMahon himself, according to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated. Pro Wrestling Sheet is also reporting that the heel duo was sent home because they did not follow creative direction during the past aired SmackDown LIVE. According to the report. Sami and KO were asked to ‘feed’ for New Day, yet instead they left the ring and threw that direction out the wind. Pro Wrestling Torch’s glossary was cited during the report, defining the wrestling term ‘feed’ as:
The heel’s role during a babyface comeback where he runs at the babyface only to be repeatedly fended off, with the hope that the series of bumps by the heel will generate positive fan heat for the babyface
As part of the report, Pro Wrestling Sheet indicated there were a variety of sources that commented around the behavior of KO and Zayn as of late, stating both superstars have been hard to work with. The report also noted both men were close to Neville and Jimmy Jacobs, two talents who have both left the WWE as of late.
Reading through internet reports, many wrestling media also can’t ignore the fact that both men, top main eventers on SmackDown LIVE currently, don’t have a spot on the current Survivor Series card; both men failing to make it onto Team Blue.
Still, I’m over here, a wrestling journalist who can’t help feeling like a small work may be going on here.
I wrote about it in my RAW versus SD LIVE review: SmackDown’s opening with Shane-O-Mac, The New Day, and KO/Zayn screamed awkward and felt like a filler. It had nothing to do with Survivor Series and with the big event only two weeks away, every match and storyline on the show should be pointing to November 19th. I don’t think that KO/Zayn ‘feeding’ would have changed the sheer ridiculousness of SD LIVE’s opener, but I still can’t help but wonder what the point of that all was.
Secondly, while yes, both men aren’t a part of Survivor Series pay-per-view (for now), when you look at both RAW and SD LIVE’s teams, the men are mostly faces; with the exception of Samoa Joe who is technically a heel, but consistently has audiences chant his name when he comes out.
So, what’s my point?
Well, reading that Zayn and KO got kicked off the UK tour because they banded together against WWE Creative seems odd to me. KO’s WWE career catapulted very quickly once he hit NXT and there certainly hasn’t been a lull in it as of late. He just beat Shane McMahon at Hell in the Cell. There very idea that he wouldn’t follow creative direction seems odd and sort of ridiculous, considering what was asked of him. Zayn just seems like one of those superstars that does what he is told. Furthermore, since their characters haver ‘reunited’ on screen, they are quickly becoming the top heels within SD LIVE and very entertaining to watch together. While you hate them, you love seeing them reunited. A story like this one just reiterates that comradery between these men.
The fact that they aren’t on the Survivor Series card means nothing to me, as stated above, both teams are stacked with faces. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Zayn and KO become the reason why Team Blue loses at the big event.
And this story does offer that sort of insight, which is Zayn and KO are tight; that they don’t follow rules easily; that they are fighting against ‘the authority’ … together. It builds up their in-ring heel personas, it gives them an ‘us versus them’ image – and this is something that could be used for storylines. Look at what so-called ‘backstage’ reports did for Enzo Amore’s heel character?
I guess only time will tell. Survivor Series is just around the corner and SD LIVE is coming up even fast than that. If this story I legit, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn better pull up their socks and fast: both men have a good thing going with the company, with KO having a stellar, guaranteed Hall of Fame career going.
However, it it’s a work, then it’s a work. In today’s day and age, with the Internet consistently leaking spoilers, the WWE needs to add a competitive edge to their storylines to create some depth and drama. Kicking KO and Zayn off a tour to add some spice into the mix, with reports flying off social media and the web … well, one really couldn’t blame them for that.
Only time will tell …