Braun Strowman Suffers First Loss Since WWE Return, SmackDown World Cup Finals Set

In an upset of monstrous proportions, Braun Strowman suffered a pinfall loss to Ricochet in the semi-final of the "SmackDown" World Cup on Friday's show, his first defeat since returning to WWE in September. As a result, Ricochet advanced to the final of the tourney, where he will wrestle Santos Escobar, who defeated Butch in the other semi-final bout earlier in the show.

Strowman manhandled Ricochet for most of the match until Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER made his way out to the ring, talking trash to Strowman and distracting him in the process. This was followed by Imperium trying to jump Strowman, which allowed Ricochet to execute a quick roll-up on Strowman for the pinfall victory

After the match, Imperium surrounded Strowman as GUNTHER nailed a big boot on The Monster of All Monsters. As Imperium continued to triple-team Strowman, a conflicted-looking Ricochet saved Strowman from the beatdown. After the babyfaces fought off Imperium, Strowman and Ricochet shook hands in an act of sportsmanship. The segment ended with Strowman raising Ricochet's hands.  

Strowman had earlier received flak on social media for undermining "flippy flippers" such as Ricochet, a comment that was referenced on last week's "WWE SmackDown" during a face-to-face confrontation between the two men.

WWE has confirmed the Ricochet vs. Escobar "SmackDown" World Cup final match for next week's show, with the winner receiving a future title shot against Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER. While Ricochet defeated Mustafa Ali and Strowman en route to the final, Escobar got the better of Nakamura and Butch in his two tourney matches. The 8-man tourney kicked off on the November 11 "WWE SmackDown" episode in Indianapolis.