WWE SmackDown: New champion crowned during tapings

WWE have spoiled the winner of a special SmackDown event after releasing an article revealing the new champion ahead of Friday’s show.

Next week, WWE’s crew will be travelling to Saudi Arabia for the Elimination Chamber event, so next week’s SmackDown was taped at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans this weekend.

The article, which is live on the WWE website, reads: “During a special SmackDown taping on Feb 11, Sami Zayn defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to capture the Intercontinental championship.

“Tune in to SmackDown next Friday at 8/7 C on Fox to see how The Master Strategist emerged victorious in the hard fought battle for the gold.”

Nakamura had held the Intercontinental championship for 182 days after defeating Apollo Crews on the August 13 edition of SmackDown.

Zayn’s win marks his third run with the championship. He had won a 12 days of Christmas 12-man battle Royal to become the number one contender on the episode SmackDown that aired on Christmas Eve.

Sami Zayn’s main roster run has seen its shares of highs and lows. He won the Intercontinental championship for the first time at Elimination Chamber back in 2020.

Zayn is seen as one of the most recognisable fighters of the ‘blue brand’ for the past year or so. His anti-conspiracy gimmick has been a big hit amongst the WWE Universe.

Zayn kicked off a feud with actor Johnny Knoxville earlier this year and eliminated him from the 2022 men’s Royal Rumble.

As a result of this, he was kicked out of the Jackass Forever premier by Knoxville, leaving fans speculating that the pair might face off in a high-profile match at WrestleMania 38 later this year.

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