Following the tapings of this week’s Smackdown on Tuesday, we now know who the eight competitors are in the quarter-finals of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament.
Kalisto overcame the odds to shock Ryback, United States champion Alberto Del Rio saw past Stardust and Neville defeated fellow Englishman, King Barrett. The tournament continues on the next edition of Raw, and will culminate at Survivor Series a week on Sunday.
The two stand out matches are without a doubt Roman Reigns vs Cesaro and Dean Ambrose vs Dolph Ziggler. It is interesting to note that Reigns and Ambrose are in opposite half’s of the draw, meaning that they could face off in the final of the tournament.
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The easiest pick to make the quarter-finals on paper is that Alberto Del Rio should see off the challenge of Kalisto without too much hassle. Del Rio has been booked incredibly strong since his return at Hell in a Cell and has accumulated a winning streak along the way by not losing directly in any single match.
Kevin Owens should come out on top against Neville considering he is the only heel remaining in the second half of the draw. Roman Reigns is quite understandably near enough everyone’s pick to take the belt at Survivor Series, so he will more than likely defeat Cesaro.
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Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler could be the match of the tournament. WWE has set this match up nicely, as both competitors are insanely popular with viewers due to their immense talent. I think Ambrose will pick up the victory in this one, with a potential interference by Tyler Breeze.
This would leave a strong semi-final line-up. I can see Roman Reigns grinding out an impressive victory against Del Rio, and would be incredibly surprised if this doesn’t happen.
Ambrose and Owens is a hard one to call. Reigns is a guarantee for the final, and going by wrestling tradition he should face off against a heel for the belt, which would be Owens.
However, Owens is already the Intercontinental champion, and I don’t think the WWE see him at main event level yet.
Ambrose should get the win in this one, setting up what should be a phenomenal main event against his best friend Roman Reigns.
This has so much potential to be a match of the year candidate. Ambrose and Reigns have yet to face each other one on one since the collapse of The Shield, and this would be a fresh and invigorating match to see.
I personally like the idea of the WWE having a face versus face conclusion to the tournament between Reigns and Ambrose. It would be incredible to see this match unfold, splitting the crowd half in half in terms of support, and witnessing two best friends slugging it out for their first WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I believe this is the direction the WWE should take.