ORLANDO, Fla. – In a true WrestleMania battle for the ages, a very game AJ Styles reigned supreme over Shane McMahon and his daredevil offense.
It was a showdown destined to be chaotic from its inception. Several weeks earlier, having felt undervalued by SmackDown LIVE’s Commissioner, “The Face That Run the Place” opted to take matters into his own hands and hurl Shane-O-Mac through a car window. Others in power would have simply fired The Phenomenal One for this brutal action; in fact, Team Blue General Manager Daniel Bryan did fire Styles. However, McMahon overturned Bryan’s decision, for he saw an opportunity to earn Styles’ respect while making another incredible WrestleMania Moment in the process.
And incredible it was, from the word “go,” with momentum constantly moving back and forth from the opening bell until the final three-count. First, Styles and Shane felt each other out with technical and brawling approaches, both in and out the ring. When Styles locked in the Calf Crusher, Shane countered with a submission maneuver of his own. When Styles vaulted himself off the ropes, Shane-O-Mac caught him in a Triangle submission on the way down, only to have The Phenomenal One fire back with the Styles Clash.
At the height of their ongoing struggle, Styles accidently knocked out the official. With the referee down, The Phenomenal One introduced a garbage can and attempted a Coast-to-Coast, a move that SmackDown LIVE’s Commissioner has made famous. Shane recovered and slammed the garbage can into his opponent, then successfully executed the Coast-to-Coast himself. Shane soon attempted his patented elbow drop onto the announce table, but Styles moved, leaving his aggressor nowhere to go but crashing through the table and onto the floor.
When Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, Shane countered with a devastating DDT that almost earned him the win. Shane went up top once more and attempted a Shooing Star Press, but Styles again moved out of the way at the last possible second. This paved the way for “The Face That Runs the Place” to connect with the Phenomenal Forearm and finally seize the victory.
Though AJ Styles walked away victorious at The Ultimate Thrill Ride, Shane McMahon once again cemented his reputation as WWE’s Man Without Fear. However, did the explosive contest truly settle matters between the head of SmackDown LIVE and one of his top Superstars? Find out on SmackDown LIVE, Tuesday night at 8/7 C, on USA Network.