First two advance in the SmackDown World Cup tournament

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The first two participants of the SmackDown World Cup tournament have advanced.

On Friday’s edition of SmackDown, Santos Escobar and Braun Strowman won their opening-round matches in the eight-man tournament.

Escobar prevailed against Shinsuke Nakamura with a Phantom Driver off the turnbuckle after Nakamura had to fend off the other members of Legado del Fantasma on the floor.

Strowman defeated Jinder Mahal in under two minutes after hitting an Avalanche in the corner and a powerbomb to advance to the second round.

Next week’s episode of SmackDown will feature Ricochet vs. Mustafa Ali in another opening-round match. The other two participants in the World Cup are Sami Zayn and Butch.

The winner of the tournament will earn a shot at the Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship.