Following the controversial conclusion to last week’s No. 1 Contender’s Battle Royal, where the referees were unable to conclusively determine whether Luke Harper or AJ Styles achieved victory, SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan made this match between the two Superstars where the winner would officially advance to the WWE Title Match against Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania.
There was a controversial moment when Styles landed The Phenomenal Forearm for the victory, but Harper got his foot on the rope and the referee did not see it. The official counted to three, but shortly after the bell rang, SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon came out and restarted the match.
At one point, Shane and Styles got into a heated debate and Harper, who was aiming for AJ’s head, accidentally struck Shane.
With the match restarted and it all on the line, it appeared The Backwoods’ Behemoth might get a chance to avenge his former master on The Grandest Stage of Them All, but, alas, it was not to be as The Phenomenal One finished off his opponent with a Springboard 450 Splash to become the No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship and headline WrestleMania.