AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura; Latest Rumors, Preview for WWE SmackDown May 15

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterMay 15, 2018

Credit: WWE.com

The increasingly personal feud between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura will travel to London on Tuesday's WWE SmackDown.

These two blue brand stars have collided over the WWE Championship several times in the past few weeks. Along the way, Nakamura has embraced his dark side, and the rivals have left each other floored with low blows.

Before their title bout at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view June 17, they will meet in London's O2 Arena in non-title action.

It should be a busy night outside of that clash. A spot in the men's Money in the Bank ladder match will be on the line. A former NXT champion will make his first SmackDown appearance. And Carmella has some big-time gloating ahead of her as she looks to celebrate her latest victory in style.

The following is a breakdown of what to expect as Tuesday's show in the United Kingdom unfolds. News updates, storyline projections and the SmackDown preview on WWE.com help us look forward.

The taped episode will air in the U.S. at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network. 

News, Rumors

Big Cass may be in the doghouse with WWE officials.

Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reported, "Big Cass upset the powers-that-be in WWE last week by going against a directive given to him before a segment involving a little person." The big man was apparently supposed to only deliver a big boot but added in some punches to the attack.

Last week, Big Cass didn't appear on SmackDown. He's in the middle of a high-profile feud with Daniel Bryan, though, so he isn't likely to be off-camera for long.

Charlotte Flair could be taking a breather from in-ring action soon.

The Queen is set to have surgery to repair a ruptured implant. PWInsider's Mike Johnson reported, "One source believes that Flair will undergo the surgery following the WWE European tour that kicks off this week."

SmackDown Streaks

After Carmella derailed her for a spell, Flair has begun to regain momentum.

She knocked off Peyton Royce in a Money in the Bank ladder match qualifier last week. That pushed her current streak on SmackDown to three victories, per CageMatch.net

It won't take long for her to work her way back into title contention whether she claims the briefcase at next month's PPV or not.

Tye Dillinger, on the other hand, can't even get any ring time. 

His absence on Tuesdays continued last week. The Perfect 10 hasn't wrestled on SmackDown since April 3, per CageMatch.net. He has since missed four straight shows, proof of how low of a priority he has become.

Preview

After weeks of hype, Andrade "Cien" Almas and Zelina Vega will make their SmackDown debut Tuesday.

The blue brand picked up the pair from NXT during the Superstar Shake-up. WWE aired a number of vignettes where Almas and his manager promised to change the game. We'll soon get to see the two heels try to do just that in London.

With Money in the Bank approaching, there's a good chance Almas finds a rival quickly to set up a match for the PPV.

The New Day and The Bar will look to make the card via the Money in the Bank ladder match. The two teams will clash in an unusual qualifying match. While two men will earn the victory, only one member of the winning squad will enter the men's ladder match.

The New Day will face The Bar with a Money in the Bank spot on the line.
The New Day will face The Bar with a Money in the Bank spot on the line.Credit: WWE.com

Big E, who should be in line for a singles push, is a likely candidate to nab that spot.

Carmella, who just recently used her Money in the Bank contract to seize the SmackDown Women's Championship from Flair, will revel in her latest success. She is set to host a "Royal Mellabration" to celebrate her win over The Queen at Backlash.

WWE history says someone will interrupt her, leading to some fireworks.

In what is presumably Tuesday's main event, Styles and Nakamura will face off once more. This time, the winner will choose the stipulation for their meeting at Money in the Bank.

Their No Disqualification match at Backlash didn't settle the score between the two. Perhaps an Iron Man match or Last Man Standing contest is in order to make sure there's a decisive winner.

Styles vs. Nakamura likely isn't going to be a lengthy battle. WWE has to leave fans wanting more ahead of Money in the Bank. There's a good chance Nakamura takes this latest clash by way of low blow. That's been his go-to move of late.

The London crowd will be electric as usual. Some intriguing moments are on tap for the show.

Like Monday's Raw, the latest SmackDown promises to further shape the Money in the Bank card.

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