Bengaluru, May 29: Three weeks left for the Backlash pay-per-view event, SmackDown will focus mainly on the Intercontinental Championship Tournament alongside the championship storylines on tonight's show.
Two huge semifinal matches are set to happen on the show that will also witness the latest blue brand member in action who is also the most favorite to end up winning the gold. We'll get to know the final lineup when SmackDown airs from a redecorated WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
The tournament in progress for the Intercontinental Championship is going to be the main attraction of this week's SmackDown that began two weeks ago, eyeing to crown a new title-holder. The former champion, Sami Zayn was said to be in an incompetent state who was forced to vacate the title following Money In The Bank pay-per-view.
The original field of the tournament was comprised of Daniel Bryan, Drew Gulak, Jeff Hardy, Sheamus, Elias, King Corbin, AJ Styles, and Shinsuke Nakamura. Elias delivered payback to Corbin whereas Bryan bested his training partner and friend Drew Gulak to be the first two names to move to the second round.
The following week on SmackDown, AJ Styles made his triumphant return to the blue brand picking a win over long-time rival Shinsuke Nakamura while Jeff Hardy earned a hard-fought victory over current rival Sheamus to roll through the first round of the competition.
Thus, we will be getting two big-time semifinal matches this week. In the first one of them, Daniel Bryan will be fighting off against Jeff Hardy in a match that is a 50-50 affair going by WWE.com,
"The Charismatic Enigma shocked The Celtic Warrior when he pulled out a victory, despite a confident Sheamus controlling long stretches of the match. Bryan was tested by his training partner, but the veteran Superstar outlasted Drew Gulak in a display of grappling ability."
These two used their veteran instincts to get to this point and will stop at nothing to get back the prestigious title, once more in their career.
In the other match on SmackDown, AJ Styles is the undisputed favorite to upstage Elias and move to the final. The Phenomenal One is officially back on the brand, he helped, built, four years ago. It’s certain that WWE will use him in bigger capacities and picking up the mid-card title should escalate things for him.
SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley fired back at the haters by pinning the NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair, last week in a Champion vs Champion contest. She did it all by herself as Sasha Banks wasn’t present at ringside that guarantees that the longest-reigning women's champ on the blue brand will continue boasting about it. This could be used as an inducing factor to plant seeds of the much-anticipated feud between Bayley and Sasha.
Mandy Rose couldn't outsmart her former Fire n Desire partner Sonya Deville despite getting Mr. Money In The Bank Otis by her side, last week. She was pinned for a second time to Deville in a mixed tag team match that makes things frustrating for her. How the Golden Goddess plans to make a comeback and how her boyfriend Otis could help out in the process? We'll find out on the latest episode of SmackDown on FOX.