The WWE Intercontinental Championship tournament kicked off on Friday night during SmackDown. Following the news that Sami Zayn was being stripped of the title, the championship was declared vacant with WWE unveiling an eight-man tournament to crown a new champion. The first two matches took place on SmackDown and featured King Corbin taking on Elias and Daniel Bryan and his partner Drew Gulak facing off for the chance to move on to the semi finals.
In the end, Elias defeated Corbin while Bryan defeated Gulak. The Elias vs. Corbin match was a more surprising result, with Corbin having been featured prominentaly on television for months and months now.
However, Corbin and Elias have an ongoing story as well, with Elias having cost Corbin a possible victory in the men's Money In The Bank match last weekend. Elias defeated Corbin with a jumping knee out of nowhere followed by a pinfall.
Bryan and Gulak had a good technical match that could have gone even longer and nobody would have been too upset. There were some real highlights during the match, which you can see clips of below. Bryan won with a heel hook for a submission.
Two more first round matches, Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus and AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, will take place next week on SmackDown.
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