WWE decided to follow in the footsteps of professional football. They went on to introduce the ‘SmackDown World Cup’ tournament. This comes as a tribute to the prestige FIFA World Cup kicking off in Qatar later this month with WWE introducing their own version of the world recognized tournament.
The announcement of the World Cup for the blue brand came on last week’s edition of SmackDown, with the tournament beginning this week. Furthermore, WWE has previously held a World Cup tournament back in 2018. Shane McMahon won the elimination tournament at WWE Crown Jewel 2018, replacing his then partner, The Miz who was taken out of the final match due to injury. With his win, Shane McMahon earned the moniker of the ‘Best in the World.’
What will happen in SmackDown World Cup?
There will be eight competitors in the World Cup in a single-elimination knockout tournament. All the competitors selected will be representing different countries, similar to the format of the original FIFA World Cup.
— WWE (@WWE) November 5, 2022
Full list of Participants and Matches
The eight participants announced for the WWE SmackDown World Cup are:
- Braun Strowman
- Sami Zayn
- Santos Escobar
- Jinder Mahal
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Mustafa Ali
In the first round, Braun Strowman defeated India’s representative Jinder Mahal. The other match saw the Japanese star Shinsuke Nakamura unseated by Mexician star Santos Escobar. With their respective wins, Strowman and Escobar advanced to the next round.
Other matches for the first round will see Sami Zayn representing Canada battle Butch representing England, while Mustafa Ali (Pakistan) will face Ricochet (USA). These matches will happen next week with the winners facing Escobar and Strowman respectively in the semi-finals. The semi-finals will take place on the November 25 edition of SmackDown, the final stop before Survivor Series.
What will the World Cup Winner get?
Los 8 luchadores de la #SmackDown World Cup:
🇺🇸 – Ricochet
🇺🇸 – Braun Strowman
🇲🇽 – Santos Escobar
🏴 – Butch
🇨🇦 – Sami Zayn
🇮🇳 – Jinder Mahal
🇯🇵 – Shinsuke Nakamura
🇵🇰 – Mustafa Ali
Sami debe de ser el máximo favorito. Y echo de menos alguna nacionalidad más. pic.twitter.com/SEC16aHLo1Advertisement
— Luigi (@LuigiWrestling) November 12, 2022
The winner of the WWE SmackDown World Cup will receive a future title shot against WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther.