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WWE Smackdown: AJ Styles promises victory, Asuka, Flair team up

May 2 (UPI) — WWE Champion AJ Styles guaranteed he would defeat rival Shinsuke Nakamura Tuesday on Smackdown, days before the competitors clash Sunday at Backlash.

Styles displayed his confidence during an in-ring interview with Renee Young and confirmed his title bout against Nakamura would be a no-disqualification match, meaning anything goes.

The Phenomenal One was then interrupted by one of Smackdown’s newest members, Samoa Joe, who warned Styles that whoever remains WWE Champion after Sunday, he is coming to take the championship away from them by force.

Nakamura’s theme music then played, causing Joe to prepare himself for a fight. The Artist came from behind the ring, however, and once again struck Styles below the belt before delivering Kinshasa to the head. Styles and Nakamura last battled at the Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia, where their match ended in a double count-out.

Also on Smackdown, Charlotte Flair, Asuka and Becky Lynch teamed up to take on Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella, and The IIconics consisting of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce.

The main event of the night, Carmella spent the match trying to avoid Flair, but The Queen would get her hands on The Princess of Staten Island by delivering a Spear and taking her out with an impressive Moonsault outside the ring.

Asuka dominated the bout once she was tagged in and won the match after she applied the Asuka Lock onto Royce, who quickly tapped out. Flair will face off against Carmella for the Smackdown Women’s Championship Sunday at Backlash.

Other moments from Smackdown included Randy Orton and United States Champion Jeff Hardy defeating The Miz and Shelton Benjamin, following a segment of Miz TV; Xavier Woods defeating Sheamus; and Big Cass mocking his Backlash opponent Daniel Bryan by attacking a little person who was dressed up as Bryan.

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