WWE's King of the Ring tournament was supposed to culminate with the final-round match at the Clash of Champions pay-per-view on Sunday in Charlotte. But, for reasons that haven't been explained, that is no longer the case.
The second of the two semifinal matches this week was supposed to feature Chad Gable vs. Elias on SmackDown Live, but "The Drifter" had to be pulled from the bout due to an ankle injury. Shane McMahon then decided that he would personally replace Elias and hired Kevin Owens to be the special guest referee. Gable still managed to overcome McMahon's cheating by forcing him to tap out to the Ankle Lock, which led to WWE posting a graphic saying the final-round match between he and Baron Corbin would take place on the Sept. 16 episode of Raw.
So what's the cause of the change? It's possible that, with 11 matches announced for the show, WWE is trying to keep the Clash of Champions pay-per-view from running too long. It's also possible that WWE wants to help give Raw's ratings bit of a boost after dropping 15 percent this week against a Monday Night Football double header.
The 16-man tournament first kicked off on the Aug. 19 episode of Raw. Corbin made it to the finals by beating The Miz, Cedric Alexander and both Samoa Joe and Ricochet, while Gable pinned Apollo Crews and Andrade before facing McMahon.
In an interview with ComicBook.com just before the tournament, Gable spoke about how winning the title of King of the Ring could finally give him some momentum as a singles wrestler.
"When I found out, it was kind of an honor, because as it's no secret, I haven't been heavily featured on SmackDown since I got traded over there in the draft. So for me more than anything, this is like, "Okay, now it's your chance kid," because I've been waiting for this opportunity to just really break out and show people, even though some people say they already know what I'm capable of, and that I'm great, or this and that," Gable said. "But now it's my chance to prove it and maybe show it to the people that don't know that yet or maybe aren't believers."
Clash of Champions' headlining matches include WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman, WWE Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton and Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks.