Modified May 23, 2020, 5:07 PM IST
In last week’s episode of RAW, WWE announced a new “Brand-to-Brand Invitational” system. Under this new rule, any RAW Superstar will have the ability to appear as part of SmackDown at most four times a year and vice versa.
Tonight on SmackDown, RAW Superstar AJ Styles will square off against Shinsuke Nakamura in a first-round match as part of the tournament to crown a new intercontinental champion.
However, fans have been wondering what will happen if Styles beats Nakamura to go into the semis? Also, what happens if Styles ends up winning it all? Now it looks like we might have some answers to these questions.
AJ Styles’ past history with Shinsuke Nakamura is reportedly the reason behind his participation in the Intercontinental Title Tournament
In his latest video, Tom Colohue (Sportskeeda’s senior journalist) addressed the rumors surrounding the role of Phenomenal One in the ongoing tournament. He revealed:
“AJ Styles is there to make sure that every first round match has some warmth, some intensity and some history. They’ve done that with Sheamus and Jeff Hardy. They’ve done it with Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak. have done it with Baron Corbin and Elias and they need an opponent for Nakamura who would really help it. “
Tom offered his personal view on the likelihood of Styles moving on in the later rounds of the tournament.
“We’ll see if Styles goes ahead, because when it comes to Elias, I think Nakamura and Elias have a stronger pairing.”
Well, AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura certainly makes for an interesting first round match. Back in 2018, the two celebrated over Styles’ WWE Championship. Their heated rivalry culminated with Money in Bank 2018, with “Phenomenal One” defeating Nakamura in a last man standing battle to retain his title.
Although it is rumored that Nakamura wins SmackDown, we cannot exclude AJ Styles yet. As mentioned above, the Brand-to-Brand Invitational allows each Superstar to show up on the opposite brand up to four times a year.
Therefore, if Styles were to advance against Nakamura, he would still technically be able to make three more appearances on the Blue Fire by 2020. Of course, this would be enough to allow Styles to compete throughout the Intercontinental Championship Tournament.
There are a multitude of options that WWE should consider when choosing the next intercontinental champion. Whichever way the company chooses to go, the tournament itself must be an exciting watch.