In a first-time-ever battle between two of SmackDown LIVE’s most athletic and hardest-hitting Superstars, Shinsuke Nakamura took on Shelton Benjamin. The Phenomenal One made good on his word to be in The Artist’s corner in the interest of protecting their WWE Title Match at WrestleMania 34. Benjamin, of course, had his partner Chad Gable by his side, adding extra wrinkles to the match.
Benjamin brought it to WWE’s Rockstar, not backing down in the face of Nakamura’s onslaught, but The King of Strong Style reigned supreme, defeating Benjamin with a stinging Kinshasa for the win as Styles kept Gable at bay.
After the match, Shinsuke grabbed a microphone and made it clear that he never needed AJ Styles in his corner tonight. More words were exchanged, but Benjamin & Gable suddenly attacked Styles from behind as WWE’s Rockstar was exiting. Nakamura was quick to come to The Phenomenal One’s aid and fend off both Shelton & Chad, clearing them from the ring. However, with them now gone, Nakamura noticed that the battered Styles was staggering to his feet. The Artist began gearing up to clobber AJ with a Kinshasa, but he stopped short.
Nakamura once again let The Phenomenal One know what awaits him at WrestleMania: “Knee. To. Face.” Shinsuke then delivered a sly smile and patted Styles on the head before exiting, letting Styles know that one Kinshasa may be all it takes on The Grandest Stage of Them All.