After the show opened with a shocking (to this writer, at least) title change on Sun. April 7, it was time for the battle for the lease to SmackDown LIVE. AJ Styles and Randy Orton made their way to the ring at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey even as a defeated Brock Lesnar was walking out.
The Viper went for his OUT OF NOWHERE finisher early. He couldn’t quite connect with the RKO, but a textbook drop kick put him in control.
Orton tried to keep the Phenomenal One grounded, but AJ fought back. His strategy was to try for his calf-crusher submission. He wasn’t able to lock it on for the win, but he did some damage to Randy’s knee in the process.
Then there was a chess match, as Styles wanted to hit the Phenomenal Forearm, but remembered that Orton had turned that into a RKO a couple Tuesday nights back.
While the crowd chanted about a production light, a headbutt and a superplex eventually created the opening the Apex Predator needed, and he hit his iconic finisher. But AJ kicked out at two!
Frustrated, Randy tried to set up a super-RKO from the top turnbuckle. Styles slide out and sent his rival crashing to the floor. Looking wearly, AJ cinched up his elbow pad and leapt, connecting with a Forearm which left both men wiped out outside the ring.
Orton seemed ready for a follow-up Phenomenal Forearm, but AJ dodged the RKO counter. The Phenomenal One then declared checkmate when he again hit his finisher.
Whoever built it, SmackDown is Styles’ house.
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