WWE Money In The Bank 2018: AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura, winners, video highlights and analysis
The Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship did not go on last, effectively ruling out a surprise MITB cash-in.
Nakamura made his way down to the ring first, with the crowd singing along to his theme as always. The WWE Champion came down next, to a loud ovation from the Chicago crowd.
The two men started off with an intense stare down, with the crowd going crazy for both men. Styles seemingly took control early in the matchup after the two traded a few punches. The first count of the match ended just at 2 as Nakamura quickly got back to his feet after a backbreaker.
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The action spilt out outside the ring as Styles caught the challenger with a Phenomenal Forearm from the top rope. After a suplex by Nakamura on the floor, the tables turned as AJ was down and out. However, he beat the referee's count at 6.
The two men then got back into the ring, with The King of Strong Style seemingly in control of the situation. Nakamura toyed with the Champion for some more time with some of his patented kicks. But The Phenomenal One could not be kept down for the 10 count. A hard kick to the midsection saw Styles fall out of the ring. The Champion looked to be in serious trouble. The two men continued the fight over the barricade, in the crowd area.
Styles seemed to find his footing back before Nakamura took him out again with a kick to the leg. Another count by the referee, but Styles was up at 7.
The two men got back into the ring once again, with Styles managing to land a Pelee kick on the challenger. Both men were down on the apron with the referee's count reaching up to 7, but both men got back to their feet in time. Nakamura went for a low blow and missed, and the Phenomenal One seemed furious! But Styles could not take control as he missed a kick.
Styles caught his opponent with a devastating forearm, but Nakamura was able to make it to his feet at a count of 8. The two fought their way to the timekeeper's area, as Nakamura had tables in mind! He landed a running Kinshasa on top of the table, and almost became the new WWE Champion before AJ Styles staggered up at a count of 9!
The King of Strong Style upped the ante, as he brought a table into the ring. Things were about to get brutal! Nakamura got Styles up on the top rope and was looking for a Superplex on top of the table, but Styles somehow managed to reverse it.
Nakamura then set the table in the corner and finally caught Styles and threw him into the table in the corner. Unbelievably, Styles was still in the match as he got himself up at the very last second. The challenger seemed very frustrated at this point!
The top turnbuckle was exposed by Nakamura, but the tactic backfired as he accidentally caught his left knee on the steel. The momentum shifted towards Styles with this, as he took advantage with an attack on the injured knee, applying a calf crusher to inflict further damage. He continued this vicious attack with multiple steel chair blows.
We saw a side of AJ Styles that we might have never seen before. But the cunning Nakamura caught Styles with a low blow, followed by a kinshasa. And once again, Styles beat the 10 count with just a fraction of a second to spare!
The WWE Champion pulled out all the stops, as he caught his opponent with a Phenomenal Forearm from the table, followed by a Styles clash from the steel steps. But Nakamura demonstrated unbelievable resilience as he stood up at 9, asking Styles for more! Out of nowhere, Nakamura tasted his own bitter medicine, as Styles hit him with a low blow. The Phenomenal One staggered back to the ring and hit Nakamura with a Phenomenal Forearm from the top rope. This finally got the job done, as the referee counted to 10 with Nakamura flat on the floor.
A truly amazing match came to an end with the Champion retaining.
Result: AJ Styles(c) def. Shinsuke Nakamura
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