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WWE Rumors: Sami Zayn's Contract, Drew McIntyre's Injury Rehab, Lita's Return

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 21, 2022

Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.


Details on Zayn's New WWE Contract

Sami Zayn reportedly signed a new contract with WWE around the same time as his real-life friend Kevin Owens.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Michael Perry of Ringside News), Zayn re-signing coincided with him working with Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar on SmackDown.

Owens announced he had signed a new deal with WWE in December, and Meltzer noted that while people in WWE believed Zayn had re-signed as well, it was never publicly confirmed.

The 37-year-old Zayn seemed to essentially confirm his new WWE deal in a tweet Thursday:

Sami Zayn @SamiZayn

Sticking around and having fun, that’s the Sami Zayn way.

Zayn has been among the top heels on SmackDown in recent months, and he has been involved in some significant storylines.

In November, Zayn won a battle royal to become the No. 1 contender for Reigns' Universal Championship. That led to multiple interactions with Lesnar, who bullied Zayn into taking his title match before the Day 1 pay-per-view.

Lesnar savagely attacked Zayn before the match against Reigns, allowing The Tribal Chief to easily retain.

Zayn quickly rebounded, however, winning a gauntlet match to become No. 1 contender for Shinsuke Nakamura's Intercontinental Championship.

If Zayn is able to beat Nakamura when their match happens, he will become a three-time Intercontinental champion in addition to a former NXT champion.

As of now, Zayn is feuding with Jackass star Johnny Knoxville, who will be part of the Men's Royal Rumble match. Given how WWE treats celebrity involvement, that should guarantee some big moments for Zayn in the Rumble.


McIntyre Rehabbing in Hopes of WrestleMania Return

Drew McIntyre is reportedly putting in extra work in an effort to be healthy enough to be part of the WrestleMania 38 card.

According to Meltzer (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News), McIntyre has been doing rehab and decompression therapy on his injured neck.

Meltzer added that McIntyre's rehab schedule is reminiscent of John Cena's when he was working his way back from injuries as an active WWE Superstar with McIntyre doing "double sessions six days a week."

It was also noted that McIntyre is "pretty insistent" he will be back in time for WrestleMania on April 2 and 3.

McIntyre has not wrestled since the Day 1 pay-per-view on Jan. 1 when he defeated Madcap Moss. After the match, Moss and Happy Corbin attacked McIntyre backstage and trapped his neck inside a steel chair.

Following that angle, Meltzer (h/t Mukherjee) reported that The Scottish Warrior had been dealing with a legitimate neck injury for months.

Based on Meltzer's reports, it seems unlikely that McIntyre will be part of next weekend's Royal Rumble pay-per-view, which would be a significant loss for WWE.

As one of the top babyfaces on SmackDown, McIntyre would have been a strong contender to win the Men's Royal Rumble match and challenge Reigns for the Universal title at WrestleMania.

Failing that, WWE would undoubtedly love to have McIntyre available in any capacity for the biggest show of the year in April.


Lita Possibly Staying Beyond Royal Rumble

WWE Hall of Famer Lita has been announced as a participant in the 2022 Women's Royal Rumble match, but that may not be all she does for WWE from an in-ring perspective.

According to Meltzer (h/t Perry), Lita may be back as a short-term regular wrestler because of the depth issues WWE is having in the SmackDown women's division.

Lita appeared on last week's episode of SmackDown and was confronted by SmackDown Women's champion Charlotte Flair. Lita discussed her desire to win the Women's Royal Rumble match and have one last run in WWE.

Charlotte criticized Lita and tried to attack her, but Lita got the upper hand by taking The Queen out with a Twist of Fate.

The 46-year-old Lita has not competed in a match since the Oct. 29, 2018, episode of Raw since she teamed with Trish Stratus, Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natalya against Mickie James, Alicia Fox, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan.

That was one night after Lita and Trish beat Mickie and Alicia in a tag team match at the all-women's Evolution pay-per-view.

SmackDown is short on top female Superstars currently, as Sasha and Bayley are injured and Toni Storm recently quit the company.

Because of that, utilizing Lita from the Rumble through WrestleMania at the very least could be an ideal way to keep things interesting on the blue brand.

Lita is a four-time WWE Women's champion and one of the most popular female wrestlers in the history of the company, and WWE could potentially get more eyes on the product by making her a regular performer in the coming months.


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