Two weeks ago, Paul “Triple H” Levesque shook the foundation of WWE when he revealed a new WWE World Heavyweight Championship. With Roman Reigns monopolizing both of WWE’s world titles, it was decided that in the sake of fairness to regular defenses, he would be stripped of the WWE Championship and remain Universal Champion on Smackdown.
While it seemed straightforward enough that a select group of Raw-drafted talents would compete in a tournament for the new championship, a wrench was thrown into the plans this past week when Levesque announced that both Raw and Smackdown stars will compete in the tournament to crown the new title holder. What happens if a Smackdown talent wins the new title? Will Friday night, once again, hold both top titles? Or, will that Smackdown star be automatically drafted to Raw with the championship? These questions have yet to be answered.
Fightful is reporting that of the field of twelve announced wrestlers in the tournament, the six that will be in action tonight are as follows: Seth “Freaking” Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Miz, Finn Balor, and Damian Priest.
One major takeaway from tonight’s field of competitors is that Night of Champions will not feature a Rollins and Rhodes rematch, this time with title implications. Whether both men face off in one of the two triple-threat quarterfinal matches or the one-on-one semifinal confrontation, neither scenario leads to both men being in the finals. While Rollins is heavily favored to win it all, The Judgment Day will have a one-in-three chance of advancing to the finals with both Balor and Priest in tonight’s mix.
According to the report, “Missing” posters have been made for Becky Lynch and are planned to be part of the show to advance her storyline with WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville are also expected to be involved in the broadcast, as they could be continuing a social media angle where they are petitioning members of the roster to stand up to management.
How much time the women will get on TV is yet to be seen. Some women have reportedly begun airing their grievances backstage following Vince McMahon’s return to WWE Creative along with several women’s matches and angles being scrapped last minute. Tonight may be no different as the WWE title tournament is said to be getting a significant amount of time. The new title will also be on full display, as it is expected to be presented prominently ringside during, at least, the tournament matches.
UPDATE: PWInsider is now reporting that the two quarterfinal triple threat matches tonight will be as follows:
- Seth “Freaking” Rollins vs Shinsuke Nakakura vs Damian Priest
- Cody Rhodes vs The Miz vs Finn Balor