AJ Styles Fakes Retirement On WWE SmackDown, Attacks Cody Rhodes

AJ Styles teased retiring from WWE, only to pull a Mark Henry and beat up Cody Rhodes

The last few weeks have seen an ongoing storyline of AJ Styles asking SmackDown General Manager Nick Aldis for one more shot at the Undisputed WWE Championship, only to be denied and told he has to earn it. Styles stated that he did not know how much time he had left, which led up to him wanting to make an announcement on last night’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown.

Throughout the night, Styles’ announcement was teased as something big. A clearly emotional and sombre Styles was shown in backstage segments, suited and booted up in a baby blue suit, suggesting that he would be revealing something career-changing. In the ring, Styles spoke about being a ‘phenomenal father’ at home rather than in the ring, and his close friend Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows would also come out to the ring to embrace and share a moment. 

Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes then emerged, giving Styles his flowers and holding up his hand to the crowd, celebrating the great career of the former world champion. And then, AJ Styles pulled his best Mark Henry impression and attacked Rhodes, following up with a vicious beatdown, signalling that he has a lot left in the tank. Styles might have been a “tweener” over the last month or so, but he is now undoubtedly a heel, and it is likely that he will now do battle with Rhodes for the Undisputed WWE Title. 

When men emerge in bright coloured suits to announce their retirement from wrestling, we should expect nothing less than this.

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Written by Andrew Kelly