WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose is about to face the stiffest title defense challenge of his championship run against AJ Styles at Backlash after having successfully retained his title against Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns at WWE Battleground last July.
AJ Styles is a formidable opponent whose confidence in the ring has been bolstered lately by the win against John Cena that earned him a title shot. The moment is particularly auspicious for Styles to try out for the title once again. A win against Ambrose will be icing on the cake following the victory over Cena that inspired new heights of cockiness and gloating in the locker room.
However, Ambrose remains for some the favorite to win. His tenaciousness and ability to turn the tables when all hope seems lost, coupled with the reputation he has cultivated since his time in The Shield as an unstable and unpredictable wrestler, makes him a difficult opponent.
But Ambrose’s performance against Dolph Ziggler at WWE SummerSlam though good was not strong enough. That he needs to be at his best against a formidable challenger as Styles makes many doubt he will be able to retain his title.
However, no one doubts that he could rise to the occasion against Styles who is in top form to claim the title. Styles deserves to win on Sunday night, but after having held the title for only a few months, Ambrose has yet to prove his mettle and convince fans that he is a deserving champion. That is why he cannot afford to lose to Styles.
While everyone agrees that the former TNA champion and New Japan Pro Wrestling star should eventually become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, the question remains whether it should be at Backlash. Although fans look forward to a great match at Backlash, many feel that the Ambrose-Styles feud is still in its infancy and needs time to intensify in preparation for the stellar encounter that produces the title change.
It promises to be a great match because both wrestlers are great performers. But some fans feel that Ambrose should retain his title so the two have more time to build up a more compelling feud. Ambrose should retain his title rather than lose it after a short reign to give them more time to build up rivalry and push the feud to even greater heights ahead of the anticipated climax.
In the build up to the climax, Styles could further complicate his reputation as a cocky jerk with a dose of villainy that makes the final encounter a contest between good and evil that connects with fans emotionally.
More of the type of post-match ringside brawl between the two during Ambrose’s SmackDown main-event against Baron Corbin would help to that end. Ambrose’s match against Corbin degenerated into anarchy after AJ Styles’ intervention led to a disqualification verdict. This decision riled Ambrose and sparked a post-match brawl.
From a different perspective, some analysts feel it is doubtful that WWE would allow all three SmackDown titles to change hands at Backlash, with no leftovers for No Mercy. The match could thus end in a disqualification or a count out so that AJ Styles has a chance for a rematch at No Mercy.
But fans rooting for Styles are saying that a win will generate more excitement as we would now have a heel champion whose eventual loss we look forward to celebrating. It will also create opportunity for new exciting rivalries, such as AJ Styles vs. John Cena.
Styles defending his title against Cena at the Royal Rumble promises to be huge, partly because if Cena wins the WWE Title once again, he could equal Ric Flair’s record of 16 World Title wins.
But most fans wish to see Styles win simply because they believe he deserves it as the best wrestler in WWE.
[Image via WWE]