Following tonight’s Smackdown Live, a change was announced for a previously set WWE Championship match at Crown Jewel this Friday from Saudi Arabia.
AJ Styles will now defend the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe, as booked and confirmed by Smackdown Live GM Paige on Tuesday night.
Styles ended up defending his title successfully against Daniel Bryan in the opener of the show, as it was first reported earlier today that Bryan informed WWE officials he wouldn’t be making the trip. Joe attacked both Styles and Bryan to setup his involvement.
A backstage segment featuring Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon also set forth an interesting stipulation for Crown Jewel. McMahon informed Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio and The Miz that if any person loses to a RAW star during the World Cup tournament this Friday, they would “no longer have a home on Smackdown Live.”
Here is the updated card for Crown Jewel this Friday at Noon Eastern:
Match to crown a new WWE Universal Champion
Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman
AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe
Triple H and Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker and Kane
Eight-Man WWE World Cup Tournament
* Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley (Winner faces Angle or Ziggler)
* Kurt Angle vs. Dolph Ziggler (Winner faces Rollins or Lashley)
* Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz (Winner faces Mysterio or Orton)
* Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton (Winner faces Hardy or Miz)
Smackdown Tag Team Championships
The Bar (c’s) vs. The New Day