WWE has reportedly sent top SmackDown superstars Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn home from the company's current European tour, for disciplinary reasons. This comes just weeks after Owens and Zayn received a new collective direction on SmackDown, with Zayn turning heel and restarting his old friendship with Owens. Owens turned on Zayn shortly after coming to NXT in 2014, and the two have been bitter enemies for most of the past three years, quickly picking up their rivalry once both had progressed to the WWE's main roster.
Owens and Zayn are real life best friends, and came up in the wrestling business together. The two men have worked together all over the world, from tiny bingo halls and high school gyms to the bright lights of WrestleMania. Whether as opponents or partners, the duo has always been closely linked in the minds of fans. Unfortunately, their names are now coming up together for a not at all good reason.
As initially reported earlier today by PW Insider, Owens and Zayn were sent home from WWE's current European tour, shortly after participating in last night's SmackDown taping. The episode saw Owens and Zayn complain to Shane McMahon about being excluded from the Survivor Series card, followed by Zayn losing to New Day member Kofi Kingston in singles action.
Sports Illustrated later updated the story with the information that Owens and Zayn had been sent home for disciplinary reasons, and that the decision had been personally approved by WWE boss Vince McMahon. Pro Wrestling Sheet later added another detail to the story, saying that Owens and Zayn earned management's wrath by not following the script during SmackDown. After Sami's loss, Owens ran into the ring and attacked Kofi, then he and Sami quickly bailed. The reported original plan was for The New Day to collectively beat down Owens and Sami, and the heels' premature exit left both New Day and the production team confused, leading to an awkward ending to the live segment.
WWE has yet to officially comment on Owens and Zayn's reported removal from the tour at all, but one assumes that if Owens and Zayn weren't at least gone from the tour, WWE could easily squash the story by saying that the two wrestlers were still present backstage. Here's hoping that Owens and Zayn - two of the biggest names on the SmackDown roster - don't end up following their old buddy Neville's lead and quitting WWE due to problems with their creative direction.