Despite being drenched in controversy, WWE’s Crown Jewel event will take place; regardless of anyone’s opinions.
With this, World Cup tournament will also take place.
While the word “World” might be a bit of a stretch, (considering ALL of the superstars involved were born in the US), the field itself is impressive when one takes a step back. Involved are some great competitors, mixed with some future Hall of Famers, plus one current one. What fans must remember is that this event, at its heart, is a WWE LIVE event. Meaning that scenarios like John Cena getting knocked out in the first round are NOT going to happen. They are going full mainstream/ name-recognition here. Why else would Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, and Rey Mysterio be involved.
At this time, it is unknown as to what the structure of the tournament will be. As of SmackDown Live 1000, we now officially have our 8-Man field that will make up the one night tournament. With that said, we have ranked all 8 competitors from least likely to win, to most likely:
#8) Dolph Ziggler
We start our list with one half of the Raw Tag Team Champions, Dolph Ziggler.
While he has been featured heavily on regular television, alongside his partner Drew McIntyre in their feud with the Shield, he’s a heel and this is a “LIVE” event. Dolph Ziggler will do exactly what Ziggler does best. Make whoever he’s face look good.
While he may have a great performance, he will most likely lose his opening match. Truly, Ziggler is there to fill a heel spot. Someone who can eat a pin.
#7) The Miz
The A-Lister finds himself at number 7 on our list, as he falls victim to the same fate as Mr. Ziggler before him.
He doesn’t have a chance to win, however he will most likely advance further to help set up the finals.
The Miz is fresh off a loss to Daniel Bryan at WWE’s Super Show-Down event in Melbourne, a match where he lost in less than 3 minutes. With that said, a good showing in this tournament would be a good bounce back for the Miz. Helping him plead the case for a WWE Championship match.
Will he make it to the finals? Maybe, but the Miz will not be Mr. World Cup.
#6) Jeff Hardy
Diving into the number 6 spot is the “Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy.
While he is a Face, he’s still not a big as the following 5 names, meaning he and The Miz are virtually even.
Hardy finished his feud with Randy Orton not too long ago at Hell in a Cell. While many thought this would write Hardy off TV for a while Hardy would return in less than a month to defeat Samoa Joe of all people to win a spot in the World Cup.
While Hardy’s moveset will surely get the crowd excited, like Dolph Ziggler, he’s here to eat a pin for a heel or one of the top 4.
#5) Randy Orton
Speaking of the Apex Predictor, Randy Orton comes slithering in at number 5.
Why is he in the tournament? Because Randy Orton is a household name. Look for him to make it to the semi finals and/or finals of the Cup. But don’t expect him to win.
#4) Seth Rollins
We now have reached the top 4, aka our “winners circle”. Basically, it’s the guys who are most likely to win and be showcased prominently in the tournament.
Seth Rollins is arguably the most dynamic superstar in this tournament, and stands the most to gain from a win at the event. Since the reformation of The Shield, Rollins’ Intercontinental Title reign has taken a complete backseat; leaving the title to feel more like a trophy than am active title.
A showing of his superior skill set and winning the World Cup Trophy would be a great tack on the resume. Additionally, seeing Rollins in meaningful singles action again will be a fresh sight.
However, what makes Rollins number 4 and not number 1 on our list is simple, and we’ve said it a thousand times already: Its a LIVE Event, its Saudi Arabia, and they want big house hold names as winners.
Hence, why the next three contestants are a part of this match at all.
#3) Kurt Angle
Angle has only recently come back to WWE TV, after being written of by Stephanie McMahon in late August. He returned as a masked-man and won a battle royal to earn the spot at Crown Jewel.
Angle brings nostalgia and legend status to the match. He’s a face, a household name, and if rumors are true, WWE is trying to build up to an eventual “Team Corbin vs Team Angle” match at this year’s Survivor Series.
Winning the World Cup would certainly be a huge boost for Angle. However, there are three specific reasons why he will most likely not win: 1) He doesn’t need it, 2) The talent in this match is too good and he’s too old, and 3) Look for Corbin to interfere in some way or another. Since Angle has been able to get the upper hand on Corbin for the past few weeks, Corbin getting one on Angle and costing him a Trophy would play into their feud well.
With that said, you can’t count the Olympic Gold Medalist completely out.
#2) Rey Mysterio
BOOYAKA BOOYAKA 619!
The living legend himself is back and earned his spot in the tournament on SmackDown Live 1000 when he defeated United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura.
WWE sees significant value in Mysterio , as he is signed to a 2-year full-time deal. He will play a large role in building up young stars on SmackDown Live, especially with the brand’s move to FOX in 2019. With that, him winning the World Cup would be a huge boost and instantly re-establish himself as a top star.
Like Angle, he doesn’t “need it”, he’s a legend who doesn’t need to prove himself. However he’s going to be a much more active superstar than Angle will be in the near future. Meaning he will need some significant wins to legitimize his return.
Why not a Trophy in front of a friendly- international audience?
#1) John Cena
Did you see that coming? Most likely you did.
Now we know that John Cena has moved into a place in his career, and its MUCH more likely he’d lose at an event like this now versus 5 years ago. However, lets all be honest here folks – He’s John Freak’n Cena.
He’s still WWE’s biggest star, he’s still the most recognizable face in the company, and he is in a field where he can beat everyone involved. And has.
If you had to bet your house, we would say put all your chips on John Cena holding up the WWE World Cup Trophy!
What do you think of our rankings? Did we overhype anyone? Did we underhype anyone? Did we spend WAY too much time on this show? LET US KNOW!
For advertising and sponsorship opportunities with The Game Changer Sports Network please contact Jake at Jake.Jollymore@Gmail.com
Photo Credit: WWE, Daily DDT, POST Wrestling, Wrestleview