WWE Friday Night SmackDown commences. In the first segment, Renee Young is in the ring with the Intercontinental Championship on the podium. A lumberjack match worth of wrestlers surround the ring. Renee introduces the new IC Champ, AJ Styles. Kofi Kingston does an impression of AJ’s entrance as he passes by the New Day and it seems to have done as a sincere endorsement funnily. AJ enters the ring and reminds us that SmackDown is the house that AJ Styles built. So he wants everyone there for this historic moment because he wanted them all to know that this is the closest any of them will get to his Intercontinental Championship. Renee brings us how it’s one of few titles he’s never held before and asks what it means to him. AJ says winners find a way to win and the cream rises to the top.
Says he can sing his accomplishments all night long but why not go ahead and get the presentation going since that’s what everyone came for. Renee starts to do it but AJ stops her and tells her she’s not qualified. Instead he wants Daniel Bryan to do it, as no one could be more qualified than him. Daniel isn’t happy with it. AJ says he beat him fair and square and demands he have a little respect for the championship that means so much to him. Daniel eventually enters the ring. AJ says it just takes a little guts, all he has to do is put it around his waist, it’s that simple. Crowd says “No”. Styles also mentions that he’s trusting him not to do anything stupid so just put it around his waist. Bryan slowly picks up the championship. AJ asks if this undermines everything he’s ever said about being a champion because that’s despicable and he’s better than that. Tells him to just be a man about it. Asks, “You are a man, right?” He then says he doesn’t have to do it, if he’s a coward, he’s a coward. Bryan tells him to turn around. AJ reminds him to say congratulations and make sure you put it on tight. Bryan does indeed put the title around AJ’s waist and congratulates him.
AJ says “That’s it?! Terrible!” Complains that no one heard that. Bryan takes up a mic and congratulates him saying that last week he was the better man and though the two of them disagree on a lot of things, he infinitely respects his ability in this ring. He thinks that AJ is going to be a great Intercontinental Champion, in fact he has the opportunity to be the greatest IC champ in WWE history! If he shows up every week and pushes himself and defends it against the amazing superstars standing around this ring that are hungry for opportunity. Imagine his legacy if he defends the title against Shorty G, Gran Metalik, against Big E! Talks up what matches these would be, AJ says that’s enough and is sorry he asked him to say anything!
Styles tells Bryan he’s not him, his vision isn’t his. A select few will have a shot at this title, people on his level and speaking of opportunity, Bryan’s at the back of the list. Daniel says he can handle that but based on what he says, maybe he can give a shot to the guy who pinned him two weeks ago – Drew Gulak! Yells that he earned it. AJ says he’s not Daniel Bryan, he doesn’t give handouts. To fight him, you’ll have to be the No. 1 Contender and that is that. The next person to stand up and run their mouth will have to deal with the consequences! And… Matt Riddle makes his entrance.
He strides into the ring and starts to introduce himself but AJ says he knows who he is. Big talk of the town but all he sees is a guy with no shoes in his ring. Sees another human being looking for a handout and they come in different shapes and sizes. Riddle says he’s not asking him to give him anything he’s actually here to give him some advice. He hears that he’s the face that runs the place. Well he wants to inform him that he’s the bro that’s gonna run the show. As casually takes off his title and places it back on the podium before charging and attacking! But Riddle wins out on the fight and sends him out of the ring. AJ is furious as Riddle stands tall. AJ demands that a ref come out here, looks like we’re gonna have an impromptu match.
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