WWE Rumors: AJ Styles’ ‘SummerSlam’ Opponent Reportedly Confirmed, Plus Other PPV Updates
WWE Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles will reportedly face Jeff Hardy at SummerSlam, according to an update from PWInsider‘s Mike Johnson. The latter superstar, who has won the title four times in the past, will have an opportunity to capture it for the fifth time at the event.
Hardy hasn’t been part of any storyline since his polarizing feud with Sheamus came to an end following their Bar Fight. Styles, meanwhile, has feuded with Matt Riddle in recent weeks. However, Riddle is currently preoccupied with “King” Baron Corbin, which leaves the champion free to enter a program with another competitor.
With the pay-per-view scheduled for later this month, Styles and Hardy will reportedly cross paths on the next episode of Friday Night SmackDown. The report also highlighted that they were supposed to collide on the show that was slated to be taped last week, only for the encounter to be canceled in the end.
Styles and Hardy’s paths have rarely crossed in WWE. They did have some notable matches against each other in Impact Wrestling in the past, but the reported title showdown will be their biggest match against each other in Vince McMahon’s company to date.
PWInsider also confirmed that WWE might use virtual fans during future broadcasts, starting with SummerSlam. Fox — the network that airs Friday Night SmackDown — has adopted this method for their Major League Baseball broadcasts. There are no plans to sell tickets to fans for the pay-per-view, but the company might use this virtual option to make it seem as if there’s a crowd in attendance.
The article also stated that there had been a pitch to host the event on a cruise ship. The current plan, however, is to host the show in Orlando, Florida. Unlike other taped content during the pandemic, though, the summer bash might not be held at the Performance Center. The promotion is supposedly looking into hosting future programming at the Amway Arena as it will provide a larger area for staging and production.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, McMahon is reportedly planning something “wacky” for the show. A boat was one of the options considered, but the chairman also toyed with the idea of showcasing the matches on a beach.
Drew McIntyre will defend his WWE Championship against Randy Orton, and Bray Wyatt will challenge Braun Strowman for the Universal title.
The son of a legendary superstar will also make his in-ring debut at the event following weeks of rumors. He’s been booked against a former World Champion.