WWE SmackDown: Sami Zayn Returns for Showdown With Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles

Tonight's episode of WWE SmackDown kicked off with a pissed off AJ Styles taking issue with Jeff Hardy's methods of victory last week, as Hardy now sits as the Intercontinental Champion. Styles decided to sit in on commentary during Jeff Hardy's match against Shinsuke Nakamura, and Styles took every chance to criticize Hardy for using a weapon during their match (in fact, a knee brace). That's why it was especially sweet for Hardy to chuck Nakamura directly into the announce desk and Styles, sending him flying out of his chair.

The injured knee of Hardy continued to be a player in the match, as after the announce team recovered Nakamura went to work on Hardy's knee, grounding the high flyer a bit in the center of the ring.

Hardy came back though, working on Nakamura's legs a bit and grounding him in the process, though Nakamura recovered. Sensing an opportunity, he went sent Hardy's head into the turnbuckle and then went for a big move off the top rope, but Hardy knocked him back and then hit a Whisper in the Wind on Nakamura, but he also clutched his knee afterward.

Nakamura knocked Hardy on the back of his neck and then hit Hardy hard, but it still wasn't enough for the pin. After some back and forth Hardy would hit the Twist of Fate on Nakamura and then went to the top rope for a Swanton Bomb. He would hit it and then cover Nakamura for the pin and the win, retaining the Championship.

Styles was pretty pissed after the fact, telling Hardy he hit Nakamura with his injured knee and calling him a cheater, saying he wasn't medically cleared to take on Hardy.

That's when Sami Zayn came out with his Intercontinental Championship, the one he never lost. He celebrated and then knocked Hardy down with a kick to the face, and it seems we will have a throwdown between these three stars at some point down the line.

You can find the official description for tonight's SmackDown below.

"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman will set the stage for their No Holds Barred Triple Threat Universal Title Match, and Big E joins "Miz TV" after a contentious exchange on "Talking Smack" with The Miz."

Here's what is on deck for tonight's episode:

Roman Reigns, The Fiend Bray Wyatt, and Braun Strowman contract signing

Big E joins Miz TV


Jeff Hardy vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Are you excited to see Zayn return? Let us know in the comments or you can talk all things WWE with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!