The last time WWE fans saw AJ Styles, he was being buried under six feet of dirt by The Undertaker during their Boneyard Match at WrestleMania 36. Styles has appeared numerous times since then on his Mixer channel, but there's been no mention of him coming back on WWE television. That seemingly changed last week when reports broke that he would be on this week's Monday Night Raw, and according to Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer Styles' return is happening much sooner than originally expected.
"I think that's certainly a possibility," Meltzer said while appearing on the Sunday Night's Main Event podcast when asked if Styles would be inserted into the Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match. "I would think he'd be in the gauntlet match... the original idea was to keep him out longer. But I think with the ratings falling it's kind of like, 'We can't adhere to this Undertaker stipulation for a guy who's not hurt when so many guys are hurt and not coming. So, he's willing to come."
Meltzer confirmed that Money in the Bank ladder matches — which will take place simultaneously at the WWE Headquarters building in Stamford, Connecticut — will be pre-taped ahead of this Sunday's show. He couldn't confirm that the matches have already been taped, though other outlets have reported it's already in the can.
"The match was different, no doubt about it," Styles said in his first live stream after the match. "I told you it was going to be. You never know what you're going to get sometimes. I was very pleased with it. I think the majority of wrestling fans, the WWE Universe, was happy with it. For every 100, there were maybe two or three (fans) that didn't like it."
This week's Monday Night Raw will serve as the go-home show for Money in the Bank this Sunday. Check out the card for the show below:
- Drew McIntyre vs. Murphy
- Raw Tag Team Championships: Street Profits vs. The Viking Raiders
- "Last Chance" Gauntlet Match for Final Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match spot
Here is the full card for Money in the Bank as of now:
- WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins
- WWE Universal Championship: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
- SmackDown Women's Championship: Bayley vs. Tamina
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The New Day vs. The Miz & John Morrison vs. Th Forgotten Sons vs. Lucha House Party
- Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match (filmed at WWE Headquarters): Daniel Bryan vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Aleister Black vs. King Corbin vs. Otis vs. TBD
- Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match (filmed at WWE Headquarters): Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax vs. Dana Brooke vs. Lacey Evans vs. Carmella