WWE SmackDown Predictions: AJ Styles Will Have His ‘Hands’ Full

WWE, AJ Styles (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
WWE, AJ Styles (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /
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1.) Who is Next for AJ Styles?

Last week on Friday Night SmackDown, AJ Styles retained the Intercontinental Championship against Drew Gulak. While a Champion vs. Champion match with Strowman or continuation of his feud with Matt Riddle would be plausible this week, AJ Styles has a plenitude of options available to him on the road to WWE Extreme Rules 2020. With Strowman occupied with Wyatt and Riddle occupied with Corbin, Styles should mix it up a superstar he has a history with in the time being.

On the July 4, 2017, episode of SmackDown, AJ Styles and Shorty G had a memorable match. Shorty G himself announced on Twitter that he wants a rematch against Styles that would be three years in the making. If this match is granted, Shorty G can defeat AJ Styles in a non-title match to set up an Intercontinental Championship match at WWE Extreme Rules 2020. He has been fed up with his victories being called upsets, so this victory should make a statement.

Alternatively, Mr. MITB Otis would also be an ideal opponent for AJ Styles. At WWE MITB 2020, AJ Styles had his palms on the MITB Briefcase at the top of the ladder before it slipped from his hands and fell in the hands of Otis. Styles didn’t take Otis seriously before the match, and his underestimation, unfortunately, failed him. Since this fluky finish occurred between Otis and Styles in the MITB Ladder Match, they should fight for both the MITB Briefcase and the IC Championship.

Just like then-IC Champion Shelton Benjamin and then-Mr. MITB Rob Van Dam did at WWE Backlash 2006, Styles and Otis could implement the same concept here by doing a winner takes all match. Otis never climbed the ladder to grab the briefcase, so Styles has a good reason to request a ‘winner takes all’ ladder match with Otis. Meanwhile, Otis would be baited into putting the MITB Briefcase on the line just to greedily win the Intercontinental Championship.

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AJ Styles himself reportedly declaimed that he is looking forward to working with Otis in the future, so this could become reality one way or the other. While Otis is a tag team wrestler who has not been booked as a future world champion, Styles is already a main eventer who still has not captured the Universal Championship in his career. Henceforth, he would be the victor in this match, setting him up to lose the IC Title to a rising star (e.g. Matt Riddle) on the road to WWE SummerSlam 2020 while transitioning to the main event scene with the MITB Briefcase.

Prediction: Shorty G -or- Mr. MITB Otis