TLC is almost upon us, and it’s got a huge main event with AJ Styles defending the WWE World Championship against Dean Ambrose. We’ve seen these two clash over the title in the past, but Sunday’s match has two x-factors. One is the latest SmackDown signee, James Ellsworth. The other is the arsenal that will be available at ringside in this Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match.
It all started when Styles elected to make his own match on SmackDown Live. Ambrose wanted the chance to beat up his long-time rival, but Styles was looking for an easier opponent–a local competitor by the name of James Ellsworth. Of course, SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan wasn’t too happy with the champ’s decision to book his own match, and elected to make the Lunatic Fringe, and the results were predictably chaotic.
Ambrose took advantage of the shaken champ for a new shot at the #1 contender’s spot. If Ambrose pinned Styles, he’d be next in line for the title. Unfortunately, Ellsworth put this one in favor of the champ–he hit a shaken Styles with a superkick at ringside, giving AJ a DQ victory and costing Ambrose his title shot.
Ellsworth, naturally, was apologetic. Ambrose got another shot at being #1 contender, this time with Ellsworth banned from the building. However, the Man With Two Hands was all too eager to make up for his past offenses.
But all’s well that ends well, right? Dean was finally crowned #1 contender. The three men were forced to work together at Survivor Series against Team Raw, and while Ambrose and Styles couldn’t quite put their issues aside, they did manage to best their rival brand.
Ellsworth finally got a WWE contract, but then he did the unthinkable–he put that contract on the line against Styles in a Ladder Match, in exchange for a future shot at the championship.The unlikely superstar did manage to hang onto his SmackDown spot and future title opportunity–with no small amount of help from the Lunatic Fringe.
That leaves the stage set for Sunday’s match, with the title suspended above the ring in a contest between Ambrose and Styles. Whoever wins will soon be forced to defend that WWE World Championship belt against Ellsworth. Will it be his pal, Dean Ambrose, or his bitter enemy, AJ Styles? Either way, the action’s kept heating up ahead of TLC.