The first round of WWE’s ongoing tournament to crown a new Intercontinental Champion wrapped up this evening on Friday Night Smackdown, with both the “Phenomenal” AJ Styles and the “Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy advancing to the semifinals.
WWE has also confirmed that both semifinal matches will take place on next week’s show, and while this has not been confirmed it’s likely the destination of the tournament finals is the upcoming WWE Backlash pay-per-view on June 14th.
Styles was officially drafted to the blue brand this week in exchange for “considerations” to be named at a later date. With a victory over his long-time rival Shinsuke Nakamura, he will take on Elias next Friday night with the winner advancing to the finals.
As for Jeff Hardy, the recently returned legend will have his hands full in something of a dream match, when he takes on Daniel Bryan. Believe it or not, the Superstars have only competed one-on-one against each other on two occasions, with both men holding one win each.
That sets up some interesting possibilities for the impending tournament finals. Elias would have to make a career-high run up a mountain, but as they say – never say never in wrestling. Styles vs. Bryan is obviously pretty high on everyone’s must-see list, but Styles and Hardy have not had a match since the 2012 TNA Bound for Glory series.