Backstage News On Why WWE SmackDown Stars Are Included In The World Heavyweight Title Tournament

Triple H with the World Heavyweight Championship during the WWE Draft on WWE Raw

WWE’s creation of a new World Heavyweight Championship has sparked more questions than it has given answers.

The official on-screen explanation is that with Roman Reigns remaining dominant as Undisputed WWE Universal Champion with a part-time schedule on SmackDown, Raw needs a World Championship. This was confirmed when the Tribal Chief was drafted to the blue brand.

However, a number of questions resurfaced when it was announced that half of the participants in the tournament to crown a new champion would come from SmackDown.

While confusion has reigned since the announcement was made, the explanation appears to be very simple. Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that WWE is wary of holding a “regular” show on either Raw or SmackDown due to the NBA playoffs.

As such, the tournament was split across both brands in an effort to try and help the ratings which are expected to take a big hit.

“If people are wondering why the Raw world title is being in a tournament on SmackDown this is the reason. They know left to a normal show right now will do a poor number so they cannot do a normal show this week and AEW knows the same thing.”

Seth Rollins Victorious On WWE Raw

Night one of the tournament took place on the May 8th episode of Raw but didn’t go off without controversy. In the first Triple Threat Match, Seth Rollins picked up the win over Damian Priest and Shinsuke Nakamura. In the second, Finn Balor grabbed the win by pinning The Miz.

However, his victory came after Cody Rhodes was taken out by Brock Lesnar.

In the main event of the show, Rollins defeated Balor to book himself into the final at Night of Champions.

H/t to TJR