Since at least SummerSlam of last year (yes, it’s been that long), the main storyline in the Smackdown Live brand of WWE — or at least, the storyline taking up the most minutes of screen time from week to week — has been Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. It’s a storyline and a feud that hasn’t been very well-received by hardcore WWE fans, but it sure has persisted!
Basically, the story is that Kevin Owens has perceived McMahon, the Smackdown commissioner, has been biased against him and has screwed him out of opportunity after opportunity, contrary to McMahon espousing Smackdown as “the land of opportunity.” The injustices against Owens were similarly picked up on by Zayn, who eventually sided with Owens at Hell in a Cell and joined forces with his lifelong frenemy.
The problem is … Shane McMahon’s character really HAS screwed over Owens and Zayn time after time. Smackdown general manager Daniel Bryan, at constant mutual-respect odds with McMahon, has tried to counteract McMahon’s slights against Owens and Zayn by giving the two Superstars counter-opportunities … which McMahon then finds a way to circumnavigate.