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WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Participants Confirmed

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WWE officially named the 12 participants in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament on Sunday. That list includes Seth Rollins, Austin Theory, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Finn Balor, Rey Mysterio, Edge, Damian Priest, The Miz, Sheamus, Shinsuke Nakama and Cody Rhodes. The tournament will begin on Monday Night Raw this week with a pair of triple-threat matches featuring the six aforementioned Raw stars (Rollins, Rhodes, Priest, Balor, Miz and Nakamura). 

The winner of those two matches will clash later in the night and the winner of that bout will represent Raw in the tournament finals at Night of Champions on May 27. The process will repeat itself on SmackDown with Theory, Styles, Lashley, Edge, Sheamus and Mysterio.

Rhodes gave his initial thoughts on the World Heavyweight Championship last week during an interview with ComicBook. While winning it would not conclude his “story” of pursuing the WWE Championship, he’s not outright against the idea of winning it.

“That’s the title that represents Raw. That’s the title that main events for Raw. That’s the title that is the franchise title for the USA network. So I can’t say I don’t want it. I can’t say that that’s not something that would be, if you look and revise your goals and say, ‘Okay, this is the route we have to go.’ Especially particularly with me being drafted to Monday Night RAW, and that might be more of a case of like I just said a story, a different story,” Rhodes said.

“The goal is still the same for me, but by no means am I or should anyone be looking down on the new World Championship because it’s one of those things I think in time people will hopefully come to love and revere,” he added. “It’s being positioned as the lead title for the brand itself and it’ll take a lead individual to do it and handle it, and Raw has a stacked roster, so I definitely want to throw myself in the mix.”

WWE Backlash 2023 Results

  • Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair def. Iyo Sky
  • Seth Rollins def. Omos
  • United States Championship: Austin Theory def. Bobby Lashley & Bronson Reed
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley def. Zelina Vega
  • Bad Bunny def. Damian Priest (San Juan Street Fight)
  • The Bloodline (Solo Sikoa, Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) def. Matt Riddle, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
  • Cody Rhodes def. Brock Lesnar
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