The tournament begins to crown a new Intercontinental Champion.
On Tuesday, WWE announced that Sami Zayn had been stripped of his WWE Intercontinental Title as he has been able to defend the belt. An eight-man tournament began Friday on SmackDown with Drew Gulak, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Jeff Hardy, King Corbin, Elias, Shinsuke Nakamura, and AJ Styles scheduled to compete. Despite being on the Raw brand, Styles has joined the tournament as part of the brand-to-brand invitation.
In the first tournament match-up, Elias picked up a victory over his rival King Corbin. Elias became irate after Corbin smashed his guitar and he responded by hitting Corbin with a jumping knee before scoring the pinfall with a small package.
Elias will face the winner of AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Later in the night, Daniel Bryan defeated his friend and coach Drew Gulak in the first round. Bryan tapped out Gulak with a heel hook after a technical match-up between two men who know each other very well.
Bryan will face the winner of Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy in the semi-finals of the tournament.
The other two first-round matchups are set to take place on the May 22 WWE SmackDown.