As of this week’s episode of SmackDown Live, the first round of the 2019 King of the Ring Tournament is officially over, narrowing the bracket down to just eight competitors.
The first 8 matches featured some incredible action from both the Raw and SmackDown rosters. Our favorite match from the Raw side was Cesaro vs. Samoa Joe, out of which Samoa Joe advanced, and the best match overall came from SmackDown Live, with Ali and Buddy Murphy reigniting their past rivalry from 205 Live.
Ali was the one to move on to the next round, but Buddy Murphy benefitted as well, gaining another opportunity to show the main roster audience exactly what he can do in the ring, and the men showed a mutual sign of respect after their epic battle.
And like any tournament, the matches are sure to only get more exciting as the list of competitors tapers down. The quarter-finals are certainly promising, the four matches including Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander vs. Baron Corbin on Raw, and Elias vs. Ali and Chad Gable vs. Andrade on the SmackDown side.
With the finals taking place on a larger stage at Clash of Champions, and the winner of the tournament gaining the ultimate bragging rights that come with the position of King of the Ring, the stakes are high, a reality that will no doubt become increasingly more evident as we get closer to the conclusion of the event.
What do you think about the 2019 King of the Ring bracket so far? Let us know on Twitter, @TheRumbleRamble.