WWE revealed the King of the Ring and Queen’s Crown brackets last Friday as all first-round matches are in the books. The right-hand side of the semifinal bracket will occur on SmackDown with the other half on Raw.
King of the Ring saw Sami Zayn beat Rey Mysterio and Finn Balor topple Cesaro. On Raw, Xavier Woods defeated Ricochet in a fun matchup, and Jinder Mahal pinned Kofi Kingston.
In the Queen’s Crown, Carmella beat Liv Morgan while Zelina Vega pinned Toni Storm. Shanya Baszler made quick work of Dana Brooke and Doudrop over Natalya in somewhat of an upset.
The finals of both tournaments will occur at Crown Jewel.
Unless things have changed, Sami Zayn is not making the trip to Saudi Arabia. Due to his Syrian heritage, the Saudi government has barred his participation, which means Finn Balor will roll into the finals.
Xavier Woods is the emotional favorite to win King of the Ring, but Jinder Mahal’s surprise victory puts a cloud of concern over their semifinal matchup. While Woods would make for an entertaining king, WWE might be ready to give Mahal a second chance in a significant role.
Babyface King of the Ring winners usually doesn’t assume the king role, while heel winners go all-in on the royal shenanigans. Most “good guys” would look like a jerk wearing a cape and crown, while everyone would expect a “bad guy” to brag about being King.
Xavier Woods is a babyface that can pull off being King without looking like a braggart. His creativity would likely put a different spin on how he presents himself in the role, making him the most memorable King since Booker T.
Roman Reigns needs challengers for his Universal Championship. Xavier Woods was drafted to SmackDown following Crown Jewel. Kofi and Big E got their moment in the sun. It’s time for Woods to get his.
While no one is beating Reigns before WrestleMania, Woods is an exciting opponent for “The Tribal Chief” It is a new face in a lead role that can get the audience invested enough against Reigns where fans will say, “What if?”
Queen’s Crown hasn’t lit the world on fire with four short matches, with the longest clocking in at 2:59. Live Morgan’s elimination also took away some of the tournament’s luster. Carmella vs. Zelina Vega is a match with two heels, but Doudrop vs. Shayna Baszler is intreiging.
Carmella would be an entertaining Queen since she’s already the self-proclaimed most beautiful woman in WWE. Doudrop’s fun-loving personality is starting to catch on. Shayna Baszler’s nickname is the “Queen of Spades.” Maybe it’s time to make that legitimate with a mad queen persona to go along with her take no prisoner’s attitude.
There are many ways these tournaments could go. As for predictions, Baszler will choke out everyone in her path towards the Queen’s Crown. Xavier Woods should and needs to win on the men’s side. However, there is a frightening world in the multiverse where Jinder Mahal becomes King of the Ring. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown will paint a clearer picture.