WWE SmackDown Predictions: AJ Styles Will manhandle LA Knight

WWE SmackDown is scheduled to take place on April 19, 2024, live on FOX, and AJ Styles will MANHANDLE LA Knight en route to WWE Backlash 2024.
AJ Styles Jan.jpg
AJ Styles Jan.jpg /

WWE SmackDown is kickstarting its road to Backlash, and WWE has already confirmed a WWE Title Match for said PPV: Cody Rhodes (c) vs. AJ Styles -or- LA Knight for the WWE Title. LA Knight earned a shot at the #1C spot by winning a Triple Threat Match against Santos Escobar and Bobby Lashley, and AJ Styles earned a shot at the #1C spot by winning a Triple Threat Match against Kevin Owens and Rey Mysterio in the main event of SmackDown. Clearly, Cody Rhodes won't lose his World Title in his first title defense, but it will be interesting to see how exciting his storyline feuds are as champion.

On this week’s episode of WWE SmackDown, three matches have been officially scheduled: Bayley (c) vs. Naomi for the WWE Women's Title, Street Profits vs. Authors of Pain vs. Los Lotharios v. New Catch Republic to determine the next number one contenders for A-Town-Down-Under's WWE Tag Titles, and AJ Styles vs. LA Knight to determine the next number one contender for Cody Rhodes' WWE Title.. It makes sense for LA Knight or AJ Styles to get this title shot since they had a major singles match at Mania that should have some title implications going forward.

In other news regarding WWE SmackDown, Tama Tonga debuted on the SmackDown after Mania and helped Solo Sikoa double cross Jimmy Uso, who lost his match at WrestleMania and faced the consqeuences. Since Roman Reigns also lost at WrestleMania, will he face the conseqeunces too? It looks like Solo Sikoa has taken Bloodline Business into his own hands and could lead to a Bloodline Civil War once Reigns and The Rock returns. Jacob Fatu is also rumored to return to WWE as well, so it will be interesting to see how this long term storyline develops in the weeks to come.

With that being said, the following will focus on the three announced matches and the idea of AJ Styles manhandling LA Knight on the road to WWE Backlash 2024.

AJ Styles vs. LA Knight [WWE Title #1C Match]

AJ Styles will defeat LA Knight to become the number one contender for the WWE Title because he needs to solidify his heel turn since his return to SmackDown. It can be argued that Knight should win this match to solidify his voctory at Mania and as a payoff for how OVER he has gotten as a popular babyface. However, that payoff should have come in the form of a mid card title victory at Mania. Since he's not battling for a mid card title, a victory over AJ Styles would only shoot him back up to the main event scene, where he already failed to win the World Title and would fail against Cody again.

Styles needs this win to maintain his credibility as a mainstay veteran who can elevate the main event scene going forward LA Knight won't be hurt by this loss because he can still seek a consolation prize in the form of the U.S. Title. He would be the perfect individual to dethrone Logan Paul. That championship would not only be his first singles title but also be a great reward for his popularity with the fanbase. If someone is bound to dethrone Paul, it has to be a babyface who is over with the crowd. LA Knight can also use that title to prove why he can perform at a main event level.

Prediction: AJ Styles

Bayley (c) vs. Naomi [WWE Women's Title]

Bayley will defeat Naomi to retain the WWE Women's Title because she only recently won the championship at Mania and Naomi is merely in this position to showcase herself in a main event position. To protect Naomi in defeat, Tiffany Stratton could also very well interfere to cost Naomi the victory or even force this match into a no-contest because she won't be too happy about being rejected a title opportunity from Bayley and losing to Naomi last week. If Iyo Sky does not invoke her rematch clause, this interference could set up a triple threat with Bayley, Tiff, and Naomi at Backlash.

Prediction: Bayley

Street Profits vs. Authors of Pain vs. Los Lotharios vs. New Catch Republic [Tag Title #1C Match]

Street Profits will win this number one contender match because they should solidify their victory over Final Testament at Mania with a shot at the tag team titles. Authors of Pain are already targeting the NXT Tag Team Titles, so they don't need to win this match. Los Lotharios are a heel team that is way too involved in their LWO feud to focus on the tag titles right now. New Catch Republic already lost their chance at the titles against Judgment Day at Chamber and in the ladder match at Mania, so it's time to give another team a chance as they go to the back of the line and rebuild their momentum.

Prediction: Street Profits

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