Smackdown Results: AJ Styles Teases Retirement, Attacks Cody

Photo Courtesy: WWE

May 31, 2024
MVP Arena – Albany, NY

By: John Kleinchester



  • Tommaso Ciampa over Austin Theory via Roll-Up in 9:43
  • Andrade over Apollo Crews in 7:04
  • Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa over The Street Profits via Flatliner in 14:21 (estimated – match began in ad break – Recommended) 
  • Piper Niven & Chelsea Green over Bayley & Naomi via Senton in 8:28


Nia, Bayley, Piper, and Chelsea

SmackDown kicked off with Nick Aldis in the ring who introduced the 2024 Queen of the Ring Nia Jax. Jax donned her crown as the crowd chanted “You suck” at her. Jax then called out Bayley and as she was coming down to the ring, Piper Niven and Chelsea Green jumped her. The heels threw Bayley into the ring and then told Nia Jax that she didn’t have to worry about facing Bayley because Piper Niven was going to be the champion before Summerslam. Jax responded that she didn’t care who the champion was because she would “annihilate her regardless”. 

A little later backstage, Bayley was being evaluated by the medical staff when Naomi came in and asked her if she was good to fight tonight. Bayley said “hell yeah” and Naomi said she would go talk to Nick Aldis.


AJ Styles’ Future 

AJ Styles told Nick Aldis that he thought about what he said last week and asked for time in the ring to discuss his future. As this segment began another glitch occurred that said “Hello”


Tommaso Ciampa vs. Austin Theory

The first match of the night was Tommaso Ciampa took on Austin Theory it was revealed that this match was made earlier in the day due to a backstage argument in Nick Aldis’ office.

Early in the match, Grayson Waller attempted to get involved in the match allowing Austin Theory to gain the advantage by focusing on Ciampa’s surgically repaired neck. The announce team discussed the fact that DIY was looking to earn a Tag Team Championship shot and if Ciampa could defeat Theory one-on-one, perhaps that would be enough. In the middle of the match, Grayson Waller started screaming at the announce team that he was the reason that Austin Theory was successful. This led to Ciampa running Theory into Waller and scoring the victory with a roll-up.

Naomi, Aldis, Blair, Knight, and Hayes

Nick Aldis was talking to Blair Davenport backstage when Naomi interrupted and Aldis agreed to Bayley/Naomi vs. Green/Niven later tonight. Davenport wasn’t happy about Naomi interjecting and stormed off. LA Knight then showed up and asked Aldis if AJ Styles was actually retiring. He then asked where Logan Paul was and Aldis told him to take a seat as the show went to break. 

After the commercial, Knight was asked by Kayla Braxton what he discussed with Nick Aldis. Knight said that Logan Paul wasn’t there this week but he wants the United States Championship. Carmelo Hayes interrupted and said LA Knight and said that if Logan Paul wanted to walk the walk, then he is “him”. 

Apollo Crews vs. Andrade 

Next up was Apollo Crews (finally making his return to Smackdown) taking on Andrade. A video was shown with Angel Garza offering Andrade a spot in Legado del Fantasma that Andrade turned down. 

Early in the match, Andrade hit a dropkick on Crews and seemed to land directly onto Crews’ face with both men seemingly a little shaken up by it. Angel Garza then appeared on the entranceway distracting Andrade allowing Crews to take control. Garza then jumped onto the apron this time distracting Crews and allowing Andrade to hit a spinning back elbow and what appeared to be a new, unnamed finisher for the win. Angel Garza was excited that he helped Andrade win as the rest of Legado del Fantasma came out but Andrade just brushed through them on the way to the back. Escobar leered at Angel and he ran after Andrade.

A little later, Angel approached Andrade asking what happened when Apollo Crews jumped Angel yelling “Stay out of my business!”

Bloodline Business

Backstage, Solo Sikoa was telling Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa that they had to do anything they could to take out The Street Profits. Paul Heyman approached and said that before Roman Reigns ever enacted violence, the Wise Man was always counseled. Heyman said there was no strategy to their violence and they needed to have Cody Rhodes in check when Roman returns. Suddenly, Kevin Owens’ music hit and he told Heyman to go “fix this”. 

After the commercial break, Kevin Owens was in the ring and said last week he went all the way to Saudi Arabia to make sure he had Randy Orton’s back and even though Orton wasn’t there tonight, everyone knew that Orton didn’t actually lose his King of the Ring match. Paul Heyman then interrupted and said that Solo has no respect for Owens and he was recruiting “criminals” into The Bloodline and if he keeps calling out Sikoa’s name they’re going to do something really bad. Owens accused Heyman of being the one pulling the strings and said he’s going to do everything he can to get Solo and “the two guys” out of his world.

Heyman retorted by asking why he can’t redeem himself, pointing out that Owens has redeemed himself plenty of times before. Heyman then accidentally hit Owens in the chest with his microphone while screaming “Why won’t anyone listen to me?”. Owens was about to attack Heyman when The Bloodline came out to the ring. The Street Profits then appeared to back Owens up as the six men started brawling all over the arena. 

As we returned from the break, a tag team match had begun with The Street Profits taking on Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga. Kevin Owens and Solo Sikoa were nowhere to be seen with Paul Heyman cowering in the timekeeper’s area. At one point, Corey Graves mentioned that Tama & Tanga were seven-time IWGP Champions. The finish of the match saw a blind tag made by Tanga Loa with Tama Tonga hitting a Flatliner on an unsuspecting Montez Ford for the victory.


Indi, Jade, and Bianca

Indi Hartwell stopped Jade Cargill & Bianca Belair complaining that Candace LeRae is stuck at home because they attacked her knee last week. Belair pointed out that Candace attacked her knee first. Jade said she would be happy to put Indi on the shelf right next to Candace which scared Indi off. 

Michin & Nia

Kayla Braxton asked Michin backstage if she had any insight on what AJ Styles was going to say tonight and she admitted that he hadn’t been speaking to The OC lately. Nia Jax interrupted and asked why everyone was talking about AJ Styles instead of her. Michin got in Nia’s face and Nia said she’d regret that. 


Bayley & Naomi vs. Piper & Chelsea

The final match of the evening was Bayley & Naomi taking on Piper Niven & Chelsea Green the latter of which jumped Bayley earlier in the show. The momentum swung back and forth with the referee losing control as Bayley and Niven brawled on the outside during the match. Naomi hit Green with the Rear View but Niven broke it up and splashed both Green and Naomi, throwing a dazed Green onto Naomi for the win.

The End of AJ Styles?

AJ Styles was walking towards the ring in the back when he was stopped by several people. First, it was LA Knight saying “If the rumors are true.. respect.” Then he ran into Cody Rhodes and Styles whispered something into his ear and Cody responded “Okay”. Finally, he ran into Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson and he said that they’ve been through a lot together and it’s only right that they’re out there with him for this.

After the break, Styles came down to the ring with Gallows & Anderson and said he’s been dwelling on Nick Aldis telling him that he had to go to the back of the line if he wanted another shot at Cody’s title and he can’t do that at this point in his life. Styles then got choked up talking about how he’s spilled blood, sweat, and tears all over the world so that he could become Phenomenal. He then mentioned that his son graduated from high school this past week and he wondered how many moments like that he’s missed. He then turned to Gallows & Anderson, telling them he couldn’t have done it without them and the three “Too Sweet’ed”.

Styles then admitted that he had asked Cody to come out when he called him and with that, Rhodes obliged. Styles told Rhodes that he had one of the greatest matches he’s ever had at Backlash in France and that would be a great last match. Styles said that this was still the house that AJ Styles built and he called Cody out to hand him the keys. Cody said on behalf of himself and the locker room, “Thank you very much AJ Styles” and the two hugged.

Cody raised Styles’ hand as the crowd went nuts and Styles clotheslined Rhodes. The beating continued and Styles hit a Styles Clash off the ring steps onto the floor as Gallows & Anderson held back WWE officials, revealing that it was a plan all along. 


Final Thoughts

An interesting and intense promo between Kevin Owens and Paul Heyman, advancing The Bloodline story was the most intriguing (and longest) part of the show tonight with it running directly into a pretty decent tag team match. While there was some intrigue from the tease of AJ Styles’ retirement, the inevitable turn and beatdown by AJ was predictable yet well-executed. Mark Henry must have clutched his salmon-colored suit watching this. Wrestling-wise, the best match of the show was the ensuing tag match between The Street Profits and The Bloodline.

Announced for Smackdown Next Week in Louisville:

  • Jade Cargill vs. Indi Hartwell
  • Johnny Gargano vs. Grayson Waller
  • Apollo Crews vs. Angel
  • “Solo Sikoa Anoints Tonga Loa”
About John Kleinchester 165 Articles
New Jersey born and raised. Wrestling fan since Lex slammed Yokozuna on the deck of the USS Intrepid. Favorite Wrestler of all time is Owen "The Rocket" Hart.