WWE US Title Tournament Begins on SmackDown

It didn't take long for us to find out what would become of the WWE U.S. title.

Following last week's edition of SmackDown that featured Dolph Ziggler laying down the title belt in the ring 48 hours after winning it and walking off, Daniel Bryan opened this week's show. Bryan noted that he has been trying to contact Ziggler to figure out what he is doing, but his calls have gone unanswered.

Therefore, Bryan declared that Ziggler's actions show that he has voluntarily relinquished the title. Bryan announced a championship tournament that would begin on this week's show.

This is all part of a larger storyline, as Ziggler is still scheduled to be working live events while being held off of a television to sell the angle. The specifics of the story aren't known outside of WWE at this point, but we would assume Ziggler will return eventually and challenge whomever walks away from the tournament as the new champion. It could be similar to when Shawn Michaels returned as Intercontinental Champion to confront the new Intercontinental Champion, Razor Ramon, heading into their champion vs. champion ladder match at WrestleMania X. It's no secret that Ziggler is a huge Michaels fan, so it wouldn't be surprising to see the story take this kind of direction.

As Ziggler continues working the untelevised live circuit, it's unknown if he will be working with the title belt or not. The answer would likely be no, but we won't know for certain until this weekend's events.


On SmackDown, the tournament opened with two matches. Bobby Roode defeated Baron Corbin and Jinder Mahal defeated Tye Dillinger in first round matches.