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Intercontinental title match set for next week's WWE SmackDown


AJ Styles' first Intercontinental title defense is set for next Friday's episode of SmackDown.

WWE announced tonight that Styles will defend his Intercontinental Championship against Drew Gulak on SmackDown next week. Styles won the title by defeating Daniel Bryan in the finals of WWE's Intercontinental title tournament last Friday.

Prior to becoming champion, Styles lost a match against Gulak on SmackDown two weeks ago.

A title presentation for Styles opened tonight's SmackDown. Bryan challenged Styles to push himself and defend the Intercontinental title against wrestlers like Shorty G, Gran Metalik, and Big E, but Styles said he isn't Bryan and doesn't have the same vision. Styles said only a select few who are on his level will get a title shot -- and Bryan is at the back of the list.

Bryan said that if Styles is interested in people earning things, he should defend the Intercontinental title against Gulak. Styles reiterated that he wasn't going to give anyone handouts. After saying that the next person who wants to stand up and run their mouth would have to deal with the consequences, Styles was confronted by the debuting Matt Riddle.

Styles fought with Riddle and they then faced each other in a match -- but Styles wouldn't put the Intercontinental title on the line. Styles shoved Bryan on the outside near the end of the match and argued with him. Styles then went for the Phenomenal Forearm on Riddle back in the ring, but Riddle caught him and hit Bro Derek for the win.

Earlier today, Riddle posted a statement from his lawyer denying a sexual assault allegation that was made against Riddle.

The feud between Sheamus and Jeff Hardy will also continue with Sheamus presenting "a toast to Jeff Hardy" on next Friday's SmackDown.