Interestingly, at the conclusion of the year, both are champions under the WWE umbrella — AJ Styles is WWE Champion and Nakamura is NXT Champion.
Shinsuke Nakamura has been one of the most popular and infectious superstars of the entire year, both under the WWE umbrella and the entire world. At the start of the year, Nakamura had a classic match against AJ Styles to retain his IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Both competitors gained an even greater level of respect for both each other, as well as the New Japan crowd and those watching in front of a television screen.
The Miz says he’s confident that SmackDown Live is the superior weekly TV show under the WWE umbrella. In a recent interview with , The Miz explained why he feels SmackDown has emerged from behind and is now better than Monday night RAW. The Miz listed himself, Baron Corbin, and AJ Styles as wrestlers who stepped up to the plate for the blue brand, noting that Styles won the WWE Championship in less than a year in the company.
Outside of the headliner, Roman Reigns taking on Braun Strowman had some interest behind it because Strowman has been in the midst of a monster push while Reigns is the beneficiary of a perpetual and possibly never-ending one, and seeing Samoa Joe take on Sami Zayn - in a match many expected to be a showstealer - with the limitation of being under the WWE umbrella also came with a bit of intrigue.