Skip to main content

Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles set for SmackDown next week


The storyline of WWE trying to figure out who will challenge for Bray Wyatt's championship at WrestleMania may be coming to an end on Tuesday.

It was announced on Friday morning that Randy Orton would face AJ Styles on next week's SmackDown to determine a number one contender for the WWE Championship. It will be a first-ever match between the two.

Much of the last couple of weeks of SmackDown episodes were focused on trying to find a new challenger for Wyatt after Royal Rumble winner Orton refused to face his Wyatt Family partner at WrestleMania, but Orton finally turned his back on Wyatt in an angle on last Tuesday's show where he burned down the Wyatt compound.

That came after Styles had defeated Luke Harper to supposedly become the new number one contender in a match that was set up after WWE claimed that both of their feet hit the floor at the same time in a battle royal the week prior.

Styles vs. Harper included some tension between Styles and Shane McMahon, then the tension continued in a segment on Talking Smack where Styles still demanded to challenge for Wyatt's title at WrestleMania despite Orton's turn. All of that seems likely to lead to Styles vs. Shane at WrestleMania.

Also announced for next week's SmackDown is John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. James Ellsworth & Carmella.