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Daniel Bryan, Elias advance in WWE Intercontinental title tournament


On opposite sides of the bracket, Daniel Bryan and Elias have advanced to the semifinals of WWE's Intercontinental title tournament.

The tournament kicked off with Bryan defeating Drew Gulak and Elias defeating Baron Corbin on SmackDown tonight. Bryan vs. Gulak was a matchup of partners, while Elias and Corbin are rivals.

After Corbin destroyed Elias' guitar on the outside, Elias hit a jumping knee strike in the ring and rolled him up to advance to the semifinals. Bryan vs. Gulak aired later in the show, with Bryan winning by submission with a heel hook.

Bryan did an interview after his win and cut a promo about how he had to relinquish the Intercontinental title when he retired in 2015. Bryan said he's never gotten another shot at the title, and he's always wanted to make the Intercontinental title the championship of SmackDown and defend it every single week. Bryan said he wants the title to represent the absolute greatest wrestler in WWE.

Bryan and Gulak then shook hands and hugged after their match.

The first round of the Intercontinental title tournament will conclude with Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus and AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura taking place on SmackDown next Friday. Bryan will face either Hardy or Sheamus in the semifinals. Elias will face either Styles or Nakamura.

Sami Zayn was the Intercontinental Champion prior to the title being declared vacant this week. He hasn't appeared on WWE television since his title defense against Bryan at WrestleMania 36.