Cody Rhodes Faces Down AJ Styles Following WWE SmackDown Main Event Vs. Carmelo Hayes

Just two hours after being officially called up to "WWE SmackDown," Carmelo Hayes made a daring Friday night stand against Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes. By the time the dust settled, however, it was not Hayes that Rhodes found himself standing across, but Backlash opponent AJ Styles.


Despite the contest being a non-title match, Hayes and Rhodes delivered an electrifying and springboard-heavy contest in the main event of Friday's draft-centric episode of "SmackDown." The final moments of the match saw Hayes survive a Cody Cutter, only for Rhodes to dodge Hayes' lethal Nothing But Net finisher. One Cross Rhodes from the champion later, and Rhodes was celebrating his victory — but not without also acknowledging the prowess of one of WWE's most meteoric up-and-comers.

Rhodes' victory had barely sunk in before Styles appeared behind the winded champion. Rhodes raised his title over Styles in classic champion fashion, and the two warily shook hands as the show went off air. Earlier that night, Styles and Rhodes opened the show with a contract signing for their match, where Rhodes called his match with Styles a "must-win."


Styles bested LA Knight last week on "SmackDown" to cement himself as the Number One Contender for Rhodes' Undisputed WWE Championship, and Rhodes' first opponent in his first WWE world title run. The two are slated to compete for the Undisputed WWE Championship on May 4th at Backlash, which will be held in Lyon, France.