The SmackDown World Cup kicked off on the November 11 episode of WWE SmackDown.
In the first match, former Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura battled Santos Escobar. Legado del Fantasma accompanied Escobar to the ring and looked on as he waged war with the former WWE Intercontinental Champion. Escobar’s stablemates distracted Nakamura just as the fan-favorite star started gaining momentum. He fended off some attempted interference from Cruz Del Toro, and Escobar capitalized with an avalanche Phantom Driver for the win.
— WWE (@WWE) November 12, 2022
Later in the show, Braun Strowman faced Jinder Mahal in another first-round bout. This match marked Mahal’s first televised contest since July 22. The former WWE Champion took the fight to Strowman, but the powerhouse scored the win with a Monster Bomb to advance to the semi-finals.
The winner of the SmackDown World Cup will earn a shot at the WWE Intercontinental Championship, which is currently held by Gunther.
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