Planned WWE SmackDown World Cup Lineup Revealed

WWE SmackDown Crowd

It was announced on the November 4 Friday Night SmackDown broadcast that, in lieu of GUNTHER’s ultimately successful Intercontinental Championship defence vs. Rey Mysterio, a SmackDown World Cup would determine his next contender. ‘The Ring General’ has reigned as champion since dethroning Ricochet on the blue brand’s 10 June broadcast.

Per PWInsider, the lineup for the tournament has now been revealed. At the time of writing, Rey Mysterio, Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn, Santos Escobar, Butch, Ricochet, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Jinder Mahal are the planned entrants, though this may change by the time SmackDown goes live.

Of those, five have former experience as a WWE Intercontinental Champion, those being Mysterio, Strowman, Zayn, Ricochet, and Nakamura. Jinder Mahal has only held the WWE, United States, and 24/7 Championships previously, whereas winning the title would be the first taste of main roster gold for either Butch or Santos Escobar.

GUNTHER Has Dominated Friday Night SmackDown

Ever since his main roster arrival on the post-WrestleMania 38 SmackDown, GUNTHER has dominated proceedings on the blue brand. Flanked by Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci in Imperium, the Austrian behemoth has gone unpinned and unsubmitted thus far, defeating the likes of Ricochet, Sheamus, and Rey Mysterio along the way.

Outside of the SmackDown World Cup victor, the former WALTER is already eyeing up a potential bout vs. Brock Lesnar. The longest-reigning NXT UK Champion touted ‘The Beast Incarnate’ as a dream opponent during a recent interview with WMBD News:

“If I had to pin it down to one name, I’d say it’s Brock Lesnar at the moment. When I was young and watching WWE, I enjoyed watching his matches. Later on, when I progressed in my career, I was able to watch wrestling and analyze how people work. He’s always been somebody I was impressed with. He’s one of the best to ever do it. I think that’s the biggest possible challenge for me at the moment.”

H/T to Fightful.