WWE decided to book a big match between Matt Riddle and AJ Styles on SmackDown instead of saving it for its Extreme Rules pay-per-view event.
Styles successfully retained the Intercontinental Title during Friday’s episode of SmackDown from Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center. The finish of the match that aired on FOX saw Riddle get rolled up for the quick loss. After the match, Baron Corbin came out and attacked Riddle to further their feud.
The former NXT star made his SmackDown debut on the June 19th episode of the show when he interrupted Styles’ Intercontinental Title celebration in the opening segment.
They were then booked in a non-title match that saw Riddle go over Styles, which kicked off the feud.
The former UFC star wrapped up his successful run under the NXT banner when he competed in a Fight Pit match against Timothy Thatcher with special guest referee Kurt Angle during the May 27th episode of NXT.
WWE booking this championship match on the go-home episode of SmackDown for this Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view event caught some fans off guard as they believed it could’ve been saved for the PPV. However, based on the feedback on social media, it was a well-received match.