As many of you saw on this week’s episode of Smackdown Live, Shinsuke Nakamura announced that his upcoming match at Money In The Bank with AJ Styles for the WWE Championship will be a Last Man Standing Match. The match had been rumored for a couple of weeks after it was first reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the Last Man Standing stipulation was being considered. The storyline explanation is that Nakamura got the right to choose the stipulation after defeating Styles in a non-title match on the previous episode of Smackdown Live.
Several weeks ago there was talk that the Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano match at NXT Takeover: Chicago would be a Last Man Standing match. That plan changed because creative on the main roster decided that Nakamura vs. Styles would get that stipulation. Gargano vs. Ciampa will be a Street Fight and, as you can see in this video (click here), they are teasing a split between Gargano and wife Candice LeRae.
This is not the first time we’ve heard of changes because there were similar plans on two shows. There were rumors of a Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania but that idea was scrapped because there were already plans in place for a Ladder Match at Takeover: New Orleans for the North American Championship. There was also the “loser leaves NXT” stipulation for the Gargano vs. Ciampa match at Takeover: New Orleans. The same stipulation was used for the Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon match. If Owens and Zayn lost then they would have said goodbye to Smackdown Live. It’s clear that the people on main roster creative are borrowing ideas from NXT.