The SmackDown World Cup began this past Friday on WWE SmackDown. Santos Escobar of Legado del Fantasma defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in the first round. Braun Strowman picked up a victory over former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal to advance to the semifinals. The superstar that wins the SmackDown World Cup will earn an Intercontinental Championship match against Gunther.
Rey Mysterio was scheduled to be a part of the tournament to potentially earn a rematch against The Ring General. Mysterio was traded to WWE SmackDown after he tried to quit the company to avoid dealing with his son, Dominik Mysterio, and the Judgment Day on RAW.
Triple H orchestrated a trade that sent Baron Corbin to the red brand in exchange for Rey. On his first night on the blue brand, Rey replaced Karrion Kross in a Fatal 4-Way after he was attacked by Drew McIntyre in the parking lot. Mysterio won the match to become the #1 contender for the IC Title. Gunther defeated the 47-year-old on the November 4th edition of SmackDown to retain the title.
Rey Mysterio Replaced Due to Injury
According to a report by Ringside News, Rey Mysterio was seen backstage with a walking boot and is currently dealing with a “short-term” injury. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer backed up the report and said Rey is dealing with an ankle or foot injury.
Mustafa Ali has replaced Rey Mysterio in the SmackDown World Cup tournament and will battle Ricochet on the November 18th episode of SmackDown. Despite being in the tournament on SmackDown, Mustafa is still currently a member of the RAW roster.