Bengaluru, July 2: AJ Styles arrived on the SmackDown brand with a bang by starting his first Intercontinental Championship reign in WWE. He defeated Daniel Bryan in the final round of the tournament that was going on the blue brand over the prestigious title. Bryan was thought to be stuck in the pursuit of the gold for weeks to follow but that's not the plan.
The following week, AJ Styles faced the debuting Matt Riddle in a non-title match and ended up losing the bout. It is now being reported that the upset result of this match was intentionally done so to set up a future pay-per-view match over the Intercontinental Championship. It looks like these two will soon compete in a rematch for the title.
The Wrestling Observer revealed that AJ Styles is moving into a feud against Matt Riddle on SmackDown. Now the former UFC superstar will be gearing up for his first title match on WWE main roster within a month of his debut. This match is likely to take place at Extreme Rules: The Horror Show on July 19th.
“AJ Styles vs. Matt Riddle looks to be the major IC title destination after Riddle debuted and beat Styles in a non-title match.”
Reports also suggest that WWE officials are very high on Matt Riddle whom they consider as the future of the SmackDown brand. So after a long time, an NXT entry will be seen getting a significant push on the main roster.
Initial plans with Riddle was something much different as he was going to feud with King Corbin. But that program is now postponed as the 2019 King of the Ring winner isn’t happy about it. Gary Cassidy reported that Corbin isn't willing to enter a feud with the former NXT tag Tag Team Champion,
“Sources have indicated to me that, while the plan is for a Matt Riddle vs Baron Corbin rivalry going forward, Corbin only recently found out about those plans and wasn’t too happy with them – insisting that Riddle should have to defeat five enhancement talents before facing him.”
On the day that Matt Riddle debuted on SmackDown, an indie wrestler Candy Cartwright has allegedly accused him of sexual harassment amid the #SpeakingOut movement that has taken over the pro-wrestling industry. Candy showed up with more pieces of evidence on social media in support of her statements whereas Riddle and WWE have filed a defamation lawsuit against her.
Since WWE is pretty strict when it comes to such allegations, it was thought that The Original Bro's push on SmackDown could end, right away before it properly begins. But that's not the case, going by the latest reports. He'd be fortunate to face "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles in his very first title match at Extreme Rules.