AJ Styles will get the chance to respond to Shinsuke Nakamura’s WrestleMania challenge on tonight’s SmackDown, live on Sky Sports Arena at 1am.
Nakamura, moments after winning the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia, was asked which champion he wished to face as his reward for that achievement and answered, almost immediately: “AJ Styles”.
The match is one which WWE fans have dreamt of for a long time and was hinted at when the pair were matched against each other – in a triple threat which also included Jinder Mahal – on the United Kingdom tour in November.
Live WWE Late Night Smackdown
January 31, 2018, 1:00am
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Styles, however, may not look upon the match so favourably, considering he continues to have his hands full with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
Styles picked up a victory over the pair in a handicap match at the Rumble but with a controversial twist, as Owens claimed he was not the legal man and that a tag to Zayn had not taken place.
Tonight’s episode will again allow the pair a platform to air their grievances, with Shane McMahon appearing to offer little support after the Rumble defeat.
Will Rousey be in attendance?
Ronda Rousey arrived on the WWE scene in the aftermath of the women’s Royal Rumble and although her only interaction came with a Raw superstar – Asuka slapped her away when she attempted a handshake – it is unclear which brand will feature the former UFC champion.
Ronda Rousey explains her lifelong dream of becoming a WWE superstar
Raw champion Alexa Bliss has a full schedule in the coming weeks as she prepares for a title defence at Elimination Chamber but her SmackDown counterpart Charlotte Flair has no pressing concerns.
Will The Queen be Rousey’s first target as she takes the first steps in her bid to climb the WWE mountain?
Who will step up to face Roode?
Bobby Roode’s open challenge for his United States title was accepted by Mojo Rawley at the Royal Rumble, and the champion saw off his first opponent with relative ease.
SmackDown plays host to several contenders who will consider themselves worthy challengers for the gold, including competitors such as Kofi Kingston and Jinder Mahal.
Or will it be a successful Rusev Day for Rusev following his strong performance at the Rumble, for which he was the very first entry?