AJ Styles defended the WWE Intercontinental Championship during WWE SmackDown on Friday night on FOX, the most heavily advertised segment or match for the show this week. However, the story of the match changed throughout the broadcast. After an opening segment that saw Retribution attack Braun Strowman following a face-off between The Fiend and Vince McMahon, the locker room ran out for the save. During the melee, it was revealed that Styles took a cheap shot at Hardy, kicking him in the back of the leg.
Later in the show, Hardy was shown getting worked on by the medical staff in the locker room. He would in fact go on to wrestle, but he would need to wear a knee brace, something that came in very useful as it would turn out.
As Hardy and Styles faced off, Hardy sold the knee throughout and it looked like he wouldn't be able to prevail. However, when Styles lifted Hardy up for a Styles Clash, Hardy's knee brace hit Styles in the face to turn the tide of the match. Hardy followed that up with a Twist of Fate and a Swanton Bomb. He covered for the pinfall and won the WWE Intercontinental Championship for the fifth time.
Time will tell when we will undoubtedly get a rematch between these two men. This Sunday, WWE presents SummerSlam. The card for the show is as follows (right now):
- WWE Championship Match
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton
- WWE Universal Championship
Braun Strowman (c) vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
- WWE Raw Women's Championship
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Asuka
- WWE SmackDown Women's Championship
Bayley (c) vs. Asuka
- WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
Street Profits (c) vs. Andrade and Angel Garza
- WWE U.S. Championship
Apollo Crews (c) vs. MVP
- No DQ Match, Loser Leaves WWE
Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville
- Street Fight
Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio
Which match are you looking forward to the most this Sunday night at WWE SummerSlam? Let us know in the comments section below, and give me a follow on Twitter @ryandroste for all things WWE!