Thanks to Sami Zayn's Twitter game, Shinsuke Nakamura has to put his Intercontinental Championship on this line this week on Friday Night SmackDown. On Thursday morning Zayn pointed out how he and Nakamura weren't chosen in the WWE Draft in the third round and called out the FOX officials for taking Roman Reigns with their first pick. Reigns took exception to the comments, and not long afterwards the match announcement popped up on WWE.com.
"Nakamura-san & I were eligible to be drafted together & got picked in the 3rd round by #Smackdown," Zayn wrote. "Imagine being able to get a generation-defining performer AND the Intercontinental Champion together in one pick & still deciding to pick The Big D Roman Reigns first. Unreal."
Don’t concern yourself with the Big D Sami 🤣 but if you and Shin want to go from 3rd round to face #1...you know where to find me.October 17, 2019
Nakamura didn't seem bothered by the challenge.
Reigns hasn't been involved in any championship picture since his return from battling leukemia. "The Big Dog" previously won the title back in November 2017, then dropped in two months later to The Miz at the RAW 25 special.
Meanwhile Nakamura has managed to successfully retain his title against the likes of Finn Balor and Ali, thanks to large part to interference from Zayn as his new manager. Ironically, Zayn challenged for the Intecontinental Championship on his first night back after returning from injury in April but failed to beat Balor. Since then the only match he's won on television was a Falls Count Anywhere match against Braun Strowman on a Raw episode in May (he had help from Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin).
Reigns recently spoke up about the controversial Hell in a Cell match between Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt, and how he felt the crowd reacted.
"I think you should express your opinions, but it doesn't hurt anybody if you have a shred of respect," Reigns said in an interview with Forbes. "Have a little respect for the performers who were out there killing themselves for you. I didn't like the Hell in a Cell finish either, but I wasn't about to cuss some guys out who got hit in the head over and over. Bray Wyatt put his health on the line to entertain some fans to the best of his ability. I didn't like it, but I respect Bray's effort and willingness to go out there and do what you have to do. So, if you can, just a little bit of respect."