Sami Zayn didn’t make his return to WWE TV this week, which means that WWE was forced to follow through on their threat of starting a Championship tournament. The brackets for the tournament were revealed this week on SmackDown and interestingly given the new cross-brand rule, AJ Styles could become the next Champion.
The eight stars in the tournament were AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Daniel Bryan, Elias, Drew Gulak, King Corbin, Jeff Hardy, and Sheamus. The brackets revealed made it clear that the winner of Elias vs Corbin would face the winner of Styles vs Nakamura and the winner of Bryan vs Gulak would face the winner of Hardy vs Sheamus.
The match that kicked off the tournament was a WrestleMania rematch and following their interaction back at Money in the Bank, Elias and Corbin were given the chance to leave it all in the ring.
Despite rumors that Elias would be changing gimmick, he returned with the same Drifter gimmick and was able to follow up on his Money in the Bank return by defeating Corbin and advancing in the Intercontinental Championship tournament.
This win now means that Elias could face off against AJ Styles or Shinsuke Nakamura following their WrestleMania rematch next week on SmackDown.
Charlotte Flair returned to SmackDown this week and even though the 11-time Women’s Champion wasn’t dressed for action, she was still able to land a few home truths at the feet of Sasha Banks and Bayley.
The current SmackDown Women’s Champion wasn’t happy with Flair questioning her friendship with The Boss and this then lead to a challenge for a Champion vs Champion match in the future.
WWE, later announced that the Champion vs Champion match will be held on next week’s SmackDown.