Style Battle's inaugural tournament takes place on Saturday in Tampa, Florida, and one of eight men will end the night with one of the biggest accomplishments of his career.
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The first round matchups for the event include:
- Darby Allin vs. Dave Crist
- Dezmond Xavier vs. Sammy Guevara
- Fred Yehi vs. Anthony Henry
- AR Fox vs. Austin Theory
According to the promotion, Style Battle will follow the standard rulebook of WWE. However, there will be a 20 count on the floor. There will be a 30-minute time limit in the first round, 45-minute time limit in the semifinals, and no time limit in the main event. In the event of a draw, double DQ, or double count-out, both wrestlers will be eliminated from the tournament.
We've already broken down the first-round bouts (check out our breakdown of Bracket A and Bracket B), but who are the favorites to take down the whole thing?
1. Anthony HenryAs mentioned in the Bracket B preview, the bout between Henry and Yehi may well be the key to the entire tournament. The two men are incredible talents, but with Yehi set to defend his FIP title the following night, he may have a bit more on his mind than Henry, who can focus entirely on proving his place in the sport.
Henry is also on a good run of success in tournaments. He emerged as the winner in the PWX X16 tournament, taking out Martin Stone, Trevor Lee, Zack Sabre Jr., and Ethan Case over two days to become tournament champion.
If he can use his blend of speed, power, and aerial moves, Henry could go on another impressive tournament run.
2. Fred YehiYehi, for all the reasons mentioned above, sits in a valuable spot in the tournament. Knocking off Henry in the first round would eliminate arguably the best wrestler in the tournament. With the depth of talent in the tournament, there is no "easy path" to the title, but it's a good start to clear the biggest hurdle out front.
Yehi has regularly faced big name competition over the last year in EVOLVE. Also, getting ready to defend his FIP Championship the following night may have him sharp and on his game, instead of being a distraction.
Yehi has the skills and attitude needed to take home the tournament championship.
3. Dave CristWhile Guevara and Xavier may be the sexier picks to move to the finals out of Bracket A, Crist has something special in the tournament. He and Allin are the two men who are always willing to put their own health at risk to get where they want.
Crist gets our nod to get past Allin based on a stronger offensive game. If the OI4K member can get rolling, he can trouble anyone. Moving past Allin and then making things ugly against the smoother wrestler in Guevara or Xavier could be his ticket to the finals. From there, it's all about pulling off an upset in the finals.
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