One of the best parts of early SmackDown Live was the incredible World title rivalry surrounding Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles and at one point, John Cena. Since the latter was appearing on-and-off, it meant that Styles and Ambrose were the two leading stars of SmackDown. They had many good matches together, but their final match would prove to be the best one as it was a TLC bout.
Not only did the two up their intensity, but AJ Styles took it to a whole new level. There was a big twist with a James Ellsworth heel turn at the end, costing Ambrose the chance to regain the title. It would mark AJ Styles’ final successful PPV title defense before he dropped it a month later. He did have one more defense at the end of that year.
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