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Intercontinental title match set for next week's WWE SmackDown


Big E's first Intercontinental title defense is set for next Friday's episode of SmackDown.

On tonight's New Year's Day edition of SmackDown, it was announced that Big E will defend his Intercontinental title against Apollo Crews next Friday (January 8). The two teamed together on SmackDown tonight and defeated Baron Corbin & Sami Zayn.

Big E and Corbin at first faced off in a non-title singles match on tonight's SmackDown. Zayn was on commentary for the match and interfered to cause a disqualification after Big E hit the Big Ending on Corbin and was about to get the win. Corbin's Knights of the Lone Wolf (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler) and Zayn attacked Big E after the match, leading to Crews making the save and Big E & Crews vs. Corbin & Zayn being made.

Corbin walked out on Zayn after dissension between them in the tag match. Crews then pinned Zayn to get the win.

Big E and Crews were interviewed backstage after the match. When Big E announced that he was going to issue an open challenge for his Intercontinental title next week, Crews immediately said Big E can consider that offer already accepted. Crews pointed out that he helped Big E win the title last Friday and half-jokingly said that Big E might not be so lucky next week when Crews doesn't have his back.

Big E won the Intercontinental title by defeating Zayn in a lumberjack match on last week's SmackDown. Crews was one of the lumberjacks and stopped Zayn from leaving when he tried to bail during the match.