WWE Reportedly Planning AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy Intercontinental Championship Match for WWE SummerSlam

As the SummerSlam card continues to fill out, reigning Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles is one of the few champions on the roster who doesn't already have a match slated for Aug 23. "The Phenomenal One" captured the IC title at the end of May by beating Daniel Bryan in the finals of an eight-man tournament, and has since defended the gold against Drew Gulak, Matt Riddle and Gran Metalik. According to PWInsider's Mike Johnson, Styles' next challenger will be four-time former IC Champion Jeff Hardy.

"Expected to be added to Summerslam's lineup is Jeff Hardy challenging WWE Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles," Johnson wrote. "That was the direction planned for the Smackdown episode that was slated to be taped last week but was canceled. That episode is being taped today at the WWE Performance Center."

Hardy has been locked in a feud with Sheamus over the past few months in which "The Celtic Warrior" repeatedly mocked him for his personal issues with alcoholism and substance abuse. Hardy lost to Sheamus at the Backlash pay-per-view, but got his revenge in late July by winning a Bar Fight on an episode of SmackDown.

Outside the ring, Styles has taken to his Twitch stream in recent weeks and voiced his frustrations about former Raw executive director Paul Heyman.

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"The reason I went to SmackDown is because I couldn't stand looking at him," Styles said in late July. "I can't stand a liar. I'm a grown man, you're a grown man, why lie? I talked to a lot of guys about this situation. You wouldn't believe how many people that I work with despise this guy because of his lies and he'd find ways to throw them under the bus when he screwed up. I heard this from several people. It's almost hard to find someone who likes him. I didn't know this, I assumed everyone liked him and I was the only one. Vince is a very smart man and he can see through a lot of crap and I think he saw what everybody knew. 'You've done some great things in the past, but you're not well liked here, hit the bricks.' The only person he can blame for this is himself. Just don't lie to people."

Here's the official card (as of now) for SummerSlam:

  • WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton
  • WWE Universal Championship: Braun Strowman vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
  • Raw Women's Championship: Sasha Banks vs. Asuka
  • SmackDown Women's Championship: Bayley vs. TBD
  • United States Championship: Apollo Crews vs. MVP
  • Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits vs. Andrade & Angel Garza
  • Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins