The battle to find out the true WWE Intercontinental Champion was an impressive spectacle, but it was Sami Zayn who pulled off the win.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles vs. Zayn in a Ladder Match took place at the WWE Clash of Champions pay-per-view event.
On paper, fans had high expectations for this contest, and based on feedback on social media, it appears those expectations were met.
Some notable spots included Styles sending Zayn bouncing off a ladder in the corner. Zayn was climbing the ladder, but Styles threw a small ladder at him. Hardy hit a Swanton Bomb off a ladder to Zayn through another ladder. Near the end of the match, Zayn put a handcuff through the earlobe of Hardy and attached it to a ladder. Zayn then handcuffed Styles to a different ladder before getting the titles.
Zayn decided to pull himself from television due to concerns about COVID-19 and WWE later stripped him of the championship and set up a tournament to crown a new champion.
Styles, Daniel Bryan, Drew Gulak, Elias, Hardy, King Corbin, Sheamus, and Shinsuke Nakamura were confirmed as competitors. Eventually, Styles won the tournament finals and became the champion only to drop it to Hardy.
When Zayn returned to TV on the August 28th episode of SmackDown, WWE played it up as Zayn being the real champion.