With a week to go before the Intercontinental Championship match between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles on next week's WWE Smackdown, the pair faced off in a war of words on Smackdown last night. Styles accused Bryan of doing things the hard way by fighting for his spot in the tournament finals last week. Styles was happy to take a bye in the Intercontinental Championship tournament because he's smart. But Bryan wasn't buying it.
"We have two entirely different worldviews," Bryan told Styles, perhaps referring to one of them believing the Earth is flat and the other believing the Earth is a sphere. We'll let you decide which is which. But Bryan also explained that he has a different vision of being an Intercontinental Champion than AJ Styles. It's the old bi-annual "make the Intercontinental Championship matter again" speech. Bryan will defend the title every week on Smackdown when he wins. If he wins.
Styles completely reversed course from earlier, accusing Bryan of wanting handouts while Styles earns his opportunities. Wait, what? But he was just… Nevermind. Styles awkwardly transitioned this into a challenge for Bryan's coach, Drew Gulak, who had technically left WWE for a week due to contract issues but, thanks to the Smackdown taping schedule, no one had to bring it up. Gulak was more than happy to oblige.
Gulak won the match, and cleanly no less! Gulak reversed a Styles Clash into a bridging pin for the victory. After the match, in an online exclusive interview, Gulak accused Styles of "exposing himself." This is a family show, Drew. Gulak predicts a victory for Daniel Bryan in the Intercontinental Championship finals on Smackdown next week.
I don't know what happened in those contract negotiations, but Gulak played a little bit of hardball and apparently got not only the contract he wanted but a pushover AJ Styles? Precisely what kind of photographs does Gulak have of Vince McMahon? We may never know, but one thing's for sure: every other wrestler in the business should be begging Drew Gulak to negotiate their contracts from now on. More Smackdown highlights coming today, so check back later.