WWE‘s weekly episodic Friday Night SmackDown is fast approaching. With the Intercontinental Championship Tournament and a Champion versus Champion match scheduled, expect a good show. Wait, what’s this? A new Intercontinental Championship tournament? You may remember that Sami Zayn was stripped of his Intercontinental Championship just last week. Therefore, a tournament was announced to crown a new champion. With all that being said, let’s dive into the preview.
Intercontinental Championship Tournament: Jeff Hardy vs Sheamus
The first match in this Intercontinental tournament is Jeff Hardy versus Sheamus. With these two being veterans of the game, you might be surprised to hear this will be their first singles match. Though having wrestled in countless tag matches against each other over the years, never have they fought one-versus-one. Jeff is a four-time Intercontinental Champion. Sheamus has won everything besides the Intercontinental Championship. This will no doubt be Sheamus’ driving narrative in this tournament and, therefore, you can expect a victory for the renewed Celtic Warrior.
Intercontinental Championship Tournament: AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura
There was a time when this match would be the most eagerly-anticipated in the tournament. We are four years removed from Wrestle Kingdom 10 and this feud has long-since passed. Without the heightened expectations of their WrestleMania match, can Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles steal the show one more time? Nakamura is a one-time Intercontinental Champion. Styles has never won Intercontinental gold. However, with Styles seemingly distracted by Deadman shenanigans, will he bring his a-game? This one is closer to call. Expect anything from a good-to-excellent match.
Mixed Tag Team Match: Otis & Mandy Rose vs Dolph Ziggler & Sonya Deville
Otis shocked the world when he captured the Money in the Bank briefcase at Money in the Bank 2020. Now armed with the famous green briefcase, and linked in arms with Mandy Rose, Otis is winning at life. This week, wrestling’s power couple comes face-to-face with the duo who tried to break them: Sonya Deville and Dolph Ziggler. In a modern-day retelling of the iconic Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth WrestleMania VII moment, Mandy aided Otis in his victory over Ziggler at WrestleMania XXXVI. The two duos meet in the ring this week for what might be the final time. What happens next? Stay tuned.
NXT Champion vs SmackDown Champion: Charlotte Flair vs Bayley
The currently-billed main event sees Charlotte Flair take on Bayley in a Champion vs. Champion bout. Two members of the distinctive Four Horsewomen, these two are incapable of a bad match with each other. This is noticeably a heel vs. heel match, which makes the match a little unpredictable. Bayley will no doubt be accompanied by fellow Horsewoman, Sasha Banks, at ringside. This will no doubt tip the odds in the SmackDown Women’s Champion’s favor. Additionally, there are a certain two NXT superstars who might not be best pleased with Charlotte once again taking the title away from NXT. Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley are the joint-number one contenders for Charlotte’s NXT gold. Might we expect some kind of interference here? It is possible. Tune into Friday Night SmackDown this Friday on FOX.
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