Date and location

Sunday, Jun 17 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT

Allstate Arena
Chicago, IL

Where to watch

Get the WWE Network

When to watch

Sunday, Jun 17 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT

AJ vs. Nakamura

WWE Champion AJ Styles def. Shinsuke Nakamura (Last Man Standing Match)

CHICAGO — Shinsuke Nakamura has made a cottage industry out of bringing AJ Styles to his knees, so it made sense that The King of Strong Style picked a Last Man Standing Match as the stipulation for his third play at The Phenomenal One’s WWE Championship. But in a match where all Nakamura had to do was drop AJ for a count of 10, the champion dug a little deeper, went a little harder and got a little meaner to retain his title in the most intense match yet of the two world-traveled Superstars’ dream rivalry.

AJ Styles faceplants at ringside after Nakamura's nasty kick: WWE Money in the Bank 2018 (WWE Network Exclusive)

WWE Champion AJ Styles gets caught off guard by challenger Shinsuke Nakamura during their Last Man Standing Match at WWE Money in the Bank 2018. Courtesy of WWE Network.

The weeks leading up to the bout had seen Nakamura take up rent-free residence in Styles’ head; each of his sinister eccentricities was enough to send The Phenomenal One flying into a fury. So, it was natural that Styles came out swinging, though he ended up expending so much energy that Nakamura was able to turn it around and notch some early counts from the ref. The King of Strong Style was also the first to lean into the more extreme elements of the match, taking the fight outside of the ring each opportunity he had.

Speculation had focused on how far Styles was willing to go to retain his title; for a while, it seemed like the more pertinent question might have been how much he was willing to take. While Styles certainly brutalized every joint and vertebra of Nakamura he could get his hands on, this was largely a defensive effort from the champion, who found himself Kinshasa’d atop an announce table, beaten about the Allstate Arena, and fastballed through a table — this on top of all the usual agony that comes from suffering The King of Strong Style’s offense.

The Phenomenal One answered the count of 10 after each bout of brutality, and the momentum shifted on something fairly mundane by comparison: A single exposed turnbuckle, which Nakamura ended up kneeing full-force when Styles dodged one of his corner attacks. The Phenomenal One pounced with a blitz of kicks, a torturous Calf Crusher and an attack from a steel chair that was so savage that Nakamura was forced to go back to his bread and butter: A low blow that appeared like it would finally get the job done.

Styles got up from that, too, as well as the Kinshasa that followed, using the table to haul himself to his feet. By this point, champion and challenger were on their last legs — Nakamura’s bum knee would barely support his weight, and that Kinshasa didn’t help — and Styles finally revealed how vicious he’d get to protect his title.

A Phenomenal Forearm off the announce table and a Styles Clash off the steel steps to the floor were the start. When Nakamura got to his feet and dared Styles to come on, the champion obliged with a stinging kick to the knee and a Phenomenal Forearm to the outside that shattered the table and finally — finally — left the challenger unable to respond. Styles retains, and his reign as WWE Champion moves to its 222nd day: A count that’s growing larger by the second.

CHICAGO — Shinsuke Nakamura has made a cottage industry out of bringing AJ Styles to his knees, so it made sense that The King of Strong Style picked a Last Man Standing Match as the stipulation for his third play at The Phenomenal One’s WWE Championship. But in a match where all Nakamura had to do was drop AJ for a count of 10, the champion dug a little deeper, went a little harder and got a little meaner to retain his title in the most intense match yet of the two world-traveled Superstars’ dream rivalry.

AJ Styles faceplants at ringside after Nakamura's nasty kick: WWE Money in the Bank 2018 (WWE Network Exclusive)

WWE Champion AJ Styles gets caught off guard by challenger Shinsuke Nakamura during their Last Man Standing Match at WWE Money in the Bank 2018. Courtesy of WWE Network.

The weeks leading up to the bout had seen Nakamura take up rent-free residence in Styles’ head; each of his sinister eccentricities was enough to send The Phenomenal One flying into a fury. So, it was natural that Styles came out swinging, though he ended up expending so much energy that Nakamura was able to turn it around and notch some early counts from the ref. The King of Strong Style was also the first to lean into the more extreme elements of the match, taking the fight outside of the ring each opportunity he had.

Speculation had focused on how far Styles was willing to go to retain his title; for a while, it seemed like the more pertinent question might have been how much he was willing to take. While Styles certainly brutalized every joint and vertebra of Nakamura he could get his hands on, this was largely a defensive effort from the champion, who found himself Kinshasa’d atop an announce table, beaten about the Allstate Arena, and fastballed through a table — this on top of all the usual agony that comes from suffering The King of Strong Style’s offense.

The Phenomenal One answered the count of 10 after each bout of brutality, and the momentum shifted on something fairly mundane by comparison: A single exposed turnbuckle, which Nakamura ended up kneeing full-force when Styles dodged one of his corner attacks. The Phenomenal One pounced with a blitz of kicks, a torturous Calf Crusher and an attack from a steel chair that was so savage that Nakamura was forced to go back to his bread and butter: A low blow that appeared like it would finally get the job done.

Styles got up from that, too, as well as the Kinshasa that followed, using the table to haul himself to his feet. By this point, champion and challenger were on their last legs — Nakamura’s bum knee would barely support his weight, and that Kinshasa didn’t help — and Styles finally revealed how vicious he’d get to protect his title.

A Phenomenal Forearm off the announce table and a Styles Clash off the steel steps to the floor were the start. When Nakamura got to his feet and dared Styles to come on, the champion obliged with a stinging kick to the knee and a Phenomenal Forearm to the outside that shattered the table and finally — finally — left the challenger unable to respond. Styles retains, and his reign as WWE Champion moves to its 222nd day: A count that’s growing larger by the second.