After it was revealed last week that Sami Zayn wouldn’t be able to defend his Intercontinental Championship, WWE announced that there would be a Championship tournament on SmackDown.
Last week, Daniel Bryan was able to defeat Drew Gulak in the opening round of the tournament whie Elias was able to overcome the threat of King Corbin to take his place in the next round.
The tournament continued this week and saw AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura steal the show as they renewed their rivalry on Styles’ return to the blue brand. It was Styles who was able to come out on top and will now face Elias in the semi-finals, while Jeff Hardy was able to advance to a match with Daniel Bryan following his victory over Sheamus.
Jeff Hardy and Sheamus have had their issues on SmackDown ever since The Charismatic Enigma made his return a few weeks ago. Sheamus was unhappy about the spotlight that had been put on the former World Champion and looked to attack him upon his return, but Hardy was prepared.
Hardy then went on to defeat Cesaro at Money in the Bank, in a match that arguably should have seen Sheamus step in for his former tag team partner but it appears that WWE decided to wait for this week’s episode of SmackDown to allow the two men to have their first official showdown.
Hardy was able to come out on top with a shock roll-up which means that the issues between these two men are far from over.
Corey Graves also announced this week on SmackDown that the semi-final matchups between Daniel Bryan and Jeff Hardy and Elias and AJ Styles will be taking place as part of next week’s show, with the final expected to take place at Backlash.