In the last episode of Friday Night Smackdown that aired only last Friday, AJ Styles graduated for the first time in his career WWE Intercontinental Champion, after having grabbed 2 WWE world titles and 3 US titles, reaching so also the secondary title of Smackdown for the first time.
AJ Styles, who until before the start of the tournament to decree the new Intercontinental champion who would succeed Sami Zayn's reign made vacant by WWE due to the Canadian leaving the scene, was a Monday Night Raw athlete, he would have been magically "drafted" to Smackdown, without much publicity or explanation.
The former WWE Champion, in fact, from one day to the other found himself first without teammates, with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson released in the big wave of layoffs in April and then also without plans in Raw, with the Boneyard match of Wrestlemania that has finally put an end to the feud with The Undertaker, despite recent messages that have seen Styles still have something that binds him to the Deadman, as in the Money in the Bank Ladder match.
AJ Styles reportedly became a member of the SmackDown roster due to differences between him and ex-Raw executive director Paul Heyman.
AJ Styles' issues with Paul Heyman
Apparently, a reason behind Styles' move to that Friday night show would be and would also be quite important and the usual Wrestling Observer would reveal it, this time through his messaging service with which he keeps his followers informed of the latest pro-wrestling news from around the world.
According to reports from the well-known overseas site, in fact, the trigger that would have led to the displacement of the former WWE Champion to Smackdown would have been his desire to change the air after the release of his friends Gallows and Anderson, with Styles who would have leaned against the blame for such releases to Heyman, although the final decision was still Vince Mcmahon's.
As revealed by the Observer, in fact: "Currently the reason that made Styles furious was the dismissal of Gallows and Anderson. He blamed Heyman. One of the classic cases of JR/JJ /Laurinaitis syndrome. Vince is the person who makes the decisions but is assumed to have heard Heyman first and to have fought with him.
So AJ Styles imagines that Heyman hasn't fought hard enough to keep the two guys on their roster." Heyman was removed from his previous role last Thursday, per Giri, but he still has a contract with WWE to do work as an in-ring performer.