WWE SmackDown Predictions: The Rock Will Replace AJ Styles

WWE SmackDown is scheduled to take place on June 7, 2024, live on FOX, and The Rock will REPLACE AJ Styles en route to WWE Clash at the Castle 2024.
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WWE SmackDown is continuing its road to Clash at the Castle 2024, and WWE has already confirmed one SmackDown-affiliated World Title Match for said PPV: Bayley (c) vs. Piper Niven for the World Title. This is merely a showcase for Niven in her home country. Bayley already planted seeds for her inevitable title match against Queen Nia Jax at SummerSlam, so she will not lose her title until then. On this week’s episode of WWE SmackDown, three matches has been officially scheduled: Jade Cargill vs. Indi Hartwell, Johnny Gargano vs. Grayson Waller, and Apollo Crews vs. Angel Garza.

In other news regarding WWE SmackDown, AJ Styles pulled a Mark Henry last week on SmackDown by faking his retirement in a baby blue suit in order to trick Cody Rhodes and potentially get another world title shot. It's not official yet, but it will be a shame when The Rock steals his spotlight as a top contender for the world title on the road to SummerSlam. Also, after a controversial finish to the KOTR Finals, Randy Orton finds himself selling his injuries and shifting his focus to King Gunther this summer, so his tag partner, Kevin Owens, has now been left alone to fend off The Bloodline.

With that being said, the following will focus on three announced matches and the idea of The Rock replacing AJ Styles on the road to WWE SummerSlam 2024.

Jade Cargill vs. Indi Hartwell [Grudge Match]

Jade Cargill will defeat Indi Hartwell because she needs to continue her dominance as tag champ en route to her title match against Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark. It seems Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn will be involved in said title match too, but Jade won't have to worry about any unneeded interferences in this match because those aforementioned tag teams are Raw superstars and Indi Hartwell's tag partner, Candice LeRae, is currently injured. Since LeRae injured Bianca Belair's knee, Belair injured LeRae's knee in return. It seems to be a storyline injury to keep The Way in the tag title picture.

Prediction: Jade Cargill

Johnny Gargano vs. Grayson Waller [Grudge Match]

In NXT, Johnny Gargano's contract was running out with the WWE and Grayson Waller was the last man who attacked him on Gargano's last night. Now, they are both on the main roster and feuding for the World Tag Team Titles. Their respective tag team partners, Tommaso Ciampa and Austin Theory, battled last week, and Ciampa earned the roll up pinfall victory after some miscommunication and dissension between Theory and Waller. It seems that WWE is planning to break up the tag champs once they lose the belts, so they'l; play off that story some more here with a Gargano victory.

Prediction: Johnny Gargano

Apollo Crews vs. Angel Garza [Grudge Match]

Apollo Crews will defeat Angel Garza because he needs to get his revenge for Garza costing him his match against Andrade last week. It seems that Santos Escobar's faction, Legado Del Fantasma, wants to add Andrade to the group, which was foreshadowed by Mark Justice himself right here on Daily DDT five months ago. It would be cool to see if Crews could assemble a babyface team of his own to fend off this heel faction. However, it's likely he will just defeat the sidekicks of this faction in a slow build to his inevitable loss against Escobar, who fell off the map and needs to regain momentum.

Prediction: Apollo Crews

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