WWE SmackDown: Universal Championship Match Confirmed For Backlash, AJ Styles Traded To SmackDown, Advances In IC Title Tournament

This week’s episode of SmackDown kicked off with an episode of The Dirt Sheet, which was later interrupted by Braun Strowman following his victory over John Morrison last week in tag team action alongside Otis.

Morrison made it clear that this was a fluke and that he couldn’t defeat The Miz in one-on-one action, which was then taken as a challenge by The Monster Among Men much to the dismay of The Miz himself. The former World Champion then came up short in the match against The Universal Champion following a running powerslam, before John Morrison laid down a challenge for Strowman at Backlash.

The Miz and Morrison will team together to take on Strowman for the Universal Championship after Strowman accepted the challenge as soon as it was laid down by the former Tag Team Champion. Of course, the last Championship handicap match that Strowman was part of saw him lose his Intercontinental Championship to Sami Zayn, so this match may not be as straight forward as many fans believe.

This week’s episode of SmackDown also saw the next two matches in the Intercontinental Championship tournament as AJ Styles came over from Monday Night Raw to take on Shinsuke Nakamura. The interesting news coming from this matchup was that Styles has actually now been traded to SmackDown following his participation in the tournament.

It was thought that WWE was taking advantage of their new cross-over rule by including the former World Champion in the match, but Styles is now a SmackDown star and Michael Cole announced that there are superstars who have been traded over to Raw in return for The Phenomenal One.

AJ marked the occasion by booking his place in the semi-final of the Intercontinental Championship tournament with a victory over his old nemesis Shinsuke Nakamura.

Here is the updated status of the Intercontinental Title tournament.