WWE has made a pair of announcements for this Friday’s episode of SmackDown.
– Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy will defend his title against AJ Styles.
Hardy won the Intercontinental title from Styles on SmackDown three weeks ago. After a show-long storyline where Styles attacked Hardy’s knee earlier in the night, Hardy used his knee brace to help him get the win.
Sami Zayn returned to SmackDown two weeks ago still claiming to be the rightful Intercontinental Champion. The title was declared vacant in May due to Zayn deciding not to appear because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On SmackDown last week, Zayn complained about not being introduced as the Intercontinental Champion. He was interrupted by Hardy, then Styles also appeared. Styles gave Hardy a cheap shot and started to beat him down. When Zayn joined in, Styles kicked Zayn in the back of the neck. Styles went for the Styles Clash on Zayn, but Hardy stopped him and gave Styles the Twist of Fate. Zayn then avoided a Twist of Fate and laid out Hardy with the Helluva Kick.
– SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley will “address the WWE Universe and explain her actions” after attacking Sasha Banks last week.
Bayley turned against Banks last week after they lost their Women’s Tag Team title rematch against Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax. Bayley gave Banks an extended beatdown that included attacking Banks’ knee that — in storyline — had been injured during the Tag Team title match. The beatdown ended with Bayley wrapping a chair around Banks’ neck, going up to the middle rope, and then jumping off and stomping on the chair.
Banks was taken out by ambulance after the attack. In a storyline injury update, WWE claimed that Banks “suffered a severe bone bruise in her knee and a compressed nerve in her neck.”
In addition to the Intercontinental title match and Bayley segment, this Friday’s SmackDown will feature Bray Wyatt unveiling a new member of the Firefly Fun House.