Drew McIntyre will officially defend his WWE Championship against AJ Styles at the TLC pay-per-view on Dec. 20, as Styles earned the No. 1 contender's spot during this week's Monday Night Raw. The closing moments of a triple threat match between Styles, Riddle and Keith Lee saw Riddle nail "The Limitless One" with three consecutive Final Flash knee strikes. But as Lee fell to the ground Styles jumped off the ropes behind him, nailing Riddle square in the face with a Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
Styles has previously held the WWE Championship twice for a combined 511 days, but hasn't held the gold since Daniel Bryan turned heel and snuffed out his year-long reign back in November 2018.
McIntyre kicked off his first reign as WWE Champion at WrestleMania 36 by beating Brock Lesnar in the show's main event. In the months that followed he successfully defended the title against Big Show, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, MVP, Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton twice. His third defense against "The Viper" turned out to be costly, as the veteran wrestler outsmarted the champ in order to bet him inside Hell in a Cell in October to end his reign at 213 days. He'd win the title back 22 days later on an episode of Raw, then lost a Champion vs. Champion match against Roman Reigns at Survivor Series.
Later in the evening, McIntyre was interviewed by Charly Caruso and addressed his match with Reigns, his upcoming bout with Styles and The Miz's continuing to tease a Money in the Bank cash-in.
The TLC pay-per-view will mark WWE's first WWE Network event from inside the new WWE ThunderDome setup at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida.