One side of the bracket features Raw Superstars, and the other contains wrestlers from SmackDown Live. WWE noted that first-round action will take place next week, which suggests the tourney will play out over multiple weeks.
This year marks the first time WWE has held a King of the Ring tournament since 2015 when Bad News Barrett beat Neville in the final of a one-night tournament.
WWE further broke down the bracket with the following video on Twitter:
Cesaro, Samoa Joe, Ricochet, Drew McIntyre, Cedric Alexander, Sami Zayn, The Miz and Baron Corbin are representing Raw in the tournament. From the blue brand, Kevin Owens, Elias, Ali, Buddy Murphy, Chad Gable, Shelton Benjamin, Apollo Crews and Andrade are set to compete.
The first round is stacked with big-time matches such as Cesaro vs. Samoa Joe, Ricochet vs. McIntyre, Ali vs. Murphy and a battle of former tag team partners in Gable vs. Benjamin.
Arguably the biggest match of the opening round is McIntyre vs. Ricochet since both stood out as top contenders when the competitors were announced. It seems like a safe bet that the winner of that match will represent Raw in the finals.
On the other side, both Ali and Andrade look like solid picks. Andrade looks to have a tailor-made road to the finals with matches against Apollo in the first round and either Gable or Benjamin in the second.
A final of either McIntyre vs. Ali or Ricochet vs. Andrade would make the most sense, the latter of which would be an absolute barn burner.
If WWE slow plays the tournament and allows the final to occur at Clash of Champions next month, it could go a long way toward launching the winner to the next level. If Ricochet and Andrade meet in the final, they both could benefit from putting on a classic pay-per-view match.
The past couple of King of the Ring tournaments have not produced the desired result of making a star since they were rushed, but WWE appears to be taking a different approach this time around, and it could pay big dividends.
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