WWE SmackDown aired from the Performance Center in Orlando. Mandy Rose joined Miz TV during tonight’s show. AJ Styles held an Intercontinental Championship presentation, Bray Wyatt returned with an episode of Firefly Fun House, and Matt Riddle made his SmackDown debut.
SmackDown Results (6/19)
- Matt Riddle def. AJ Styles in a non-title match
- Shorty G def. Mojo Rawley
- New Day def. Lucha House Party
- Sasha Banks def. Nikki Cross
Here are 5 takeaways from this week’s show:
5Matt Riddle Debuted With A Win Over AJ Styles
Renee Young introduced new Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles to begin the show. Several WWE superstars surrounded the ring to watch the presentation. Styles told everyone surrounding the ring that this is as close as they are going to get to the Intercontinental Championship.
Young stated that the IC Title was the one championship that he hadn’t captured and asked what it meant to him. Styles said winners find a way to win and the cream always rises to the top. AJ told Renee that she wasn’t the right person to present him the title and told Daniel Bryan to come in the ring and put the title around his waist.
Bryan got into the ring as Styles told him to put the belt around his waist and congratulated him. The crowd chanted “no!” as AJ continued to demand that Bryan have some respect and put the title on him. Daniel held the title in his hand and Styles stated that Bryan is a coward if he doesn’t put it around his waist.
Daniel put the title on AJ and congratulated him. AJ shouted at Bryan to tell him congratulations like a man. Bryan grabbed a microphone and congratulated AJ on being the better man last week. Daniel told Styles that he respects his ability in the ring and that AJ has the opportunity to be the greatest Intercontinental Champion in WWE history.
Bryan challenged Styles to show up every week and defend the Intercontinental Championship against the superstars in the locker room. Daniel started naming superstars to challenge for the title and AJ Styles cut him off. Styles stated that only a select few will get a title shot and Bryan is at the back of the list.
Daniel said that Styles should be willing to defend the title against Drew Gulak because he pinned AJ recently on SmackDown. Styles shouted that he is not giving handouts, and that if people want an opportunity at the title has to earn it. Matt Riddle interrupted and joined Styles in the ring.
Riddle kicked off his flip flops as the crowd chanted “bro!”. Styles cut off Riddle and said that he just sees another human being looking for a handout. Riddle stated that while Styles is the “face that runs the place”, he is “the bro that is going to run the show”. Styles got pissed off and hit Riddle with a cheap shot. Matt battled back and booted AJ Styles out of the ring as SmackDown went to a commercial break. When SmackDown returned, AJ Styles faced Matt Riddle in a non-title match.
Match Recap: Riddle planted AJ with a German Suplex and Styles landed on the back of his head. Riddle followed it up with two Gutwrench Suplexes for a two count. AJ connected with a Jawbreaker and backed Riddle to the corner. Matt hit a kick to the face out of nowhere for a near fall.
Matt hit the Broton and applied a front facelock in the middle of the ring. Styles escaped but Riddle stayed on him and unloaded jabs to his midsection in the corner. Riddle took his off AJ for a moment and Styles capitalized with a Dropkick. Styles Clotheslined Riddle to the ring apron and then booted him onto King Corbin ringside.
Riddle and Corbin traded words as SmackDown went to a commercial break. When SmackDown returned, Styles was back in control of the match. Riddle battled back and planted Styles with a Fisherman’s Suplex. Matt followed it up with another Broton for a two count. Riddle locked in the Bromission in the middle of the ring but Styles countered into a cover for a near fall. Stlyes then locked in the Calf Crusher in the middle of the ring. Riddle fought through the pain and reached the bottom rope to break the hold.
AJ got out of the ring and shoved Daniel Bryan before hopping on the apron. AJ hopped back down and started arguing with Daniel Bryan. Styles then got back on the apron and went for the Phenomenal Forearm. Riddle caught him and hit the BRO Derek for the pinfall victory.
Opinion: I enjoyed this match and it was an impressive debut for Riddle. I would have preferred not to see AJ Styles lose his first match after winning the Intercontinental Championship. Having said that, this rivalry should be great and I’m looking forward to Styles versus Gulak next week.