AJ Styles MITB Contract Signing: Latest Rumors, Preview for WWE SmackDown June 5June 5, 2018
WWE SmackDown will zero in on Money in the Bank when it heads to Corpus Christi, Texas.
The ladder match fields are set. The card is complete. Now, it's time for AJ Styles and the rest of the blue brand to get the audience invested ahead of the event.
Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura will sign the contract for their WWE Championship match at the June 17 pay-per-view. Charlotte Flair and Lana will each have opportunities to soften up their Money in the Bank opponents. SmackDown women's champ Carmella will apparently "unmask" Asuka on the next SmackDown episode.
Could we also see the debut of an NXT stable and The New Day make a key decision? News updates, the SmackDown preview on WWE.com and storyline projections help look ahead to Tuesday's night show.
The action will kick off at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network.
The last unknown in the Money in the Bank ladder match fields is the question of which New Day member will enter the bout.
It may be the group's powerhouse who gets the nod. PWInsider reported on a recent audio show (h/t Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats) that it has heard Big E is slated to enter the match.
The blue brand's tag team division is poised to get a boost.
Sanity joined the SmackDown crew on the road this week. As Joseph Price noted for WrestleView.com, the faction faced Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson when WWE traveled to Waco, Texas, on Saturday.
The former NXT champs moved to SmackDown during the Superstar Shake-up but have yet to debut on TV.
It looks as if fans should be on the lookout for Undertaker in the weeks ahead. He has another match on the way. As Austin Kellerman of Pro Wrestling Sheet noted, "Madison Square Garden announced The Deadman will return to the World's Most Famous Arena on July 7."
The Empress of Tomorrow is winning again. Asuka knocked off Mandy Rose to go 2-0 in her last two bouts, per CageMatch.net.
Asuka walked into WrestleMania undefeated, her spotless record stretching back to her NXT debut in 2015. She then lost two straight matches in April and looked far more mortal. She's a long ways from a three-year undefeated stretch, but it's good to see her claiming victories once more.
Tye Dillinger would kill for a mini-streak like Asuka has going currently.
He couldn't hang with Nakamura last week, leading to his latest loss. The Perfect 10 now has nine consecutive defeats to his name, per CageMatch.net. He has yet to win on TV or PPV this year.
WWE seems to have zero interest in building up Dillinger. He looks destined to be a low-card talent for the long haul.
Marching Closer to Money in the Bank
The pairing of Lana and Aiden English will continue to get the spotlight on SmackDown. The Shakespeare of Song is set to go from cheerleader to tag team partner Tuesday when the two Superstars face Jimmy Uso and Naomi.
Naomi and Lana clashed in a dance-off last week. They will now meet in mixed-tag action with both women looking for momentum ahead of Money in the Bank.
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair have a throwdown of their own on the way. SmackDown general manager Paige booked a bout between the two friends last week.
Both Lynch and Flair are in the women's Money in the Bank ladder match. Getting warmed up for that battle threatens to damage their relationship when they go from fighting alongside each other to trading blows.
Carmella has some mind games in the works for Asuka.
The SmackDown women's champion promised to expose her Money in the Bank opponent in a recent backstage interview. Are we set for a repeat of the awful Sami Zayn vs. Bobby Lashley, or can the SmackDown writers do a better job here?
The title bout could use some added animosity as it's one of the PPV's least-hyped contests.
Ahead of their own championship collision, Styles and Nakamura will make their Last Man Standing match official. Paige will oversee the proceedings as the rivals sign the contract for their Money in the Bank meeting.
WWE fans know full well that more than document signing is on the way. These segments almost always end in violent chaos.
And with Nakamura's penchant for dealing low blows, Styles would be smart to wear a cup while he puts pen to paper in Texas.