Did John Cena win against AJ Styles at last weekend’s WWE Royal Rumble? Well, as most wrestling fans know, Cena and Styles turned in a fantastic match, and Cena came out on top to win his 16th World Championship. Cena has been the face of WWE for many years, but Styles is well on his way to replacing him as the WWE’s biggest attraction. Styles was regarded as one of the world’s best wrestlers, even before he made his epic WWE entrance at the 2016 Royal Rumble. That match established Styles as a WWE network favorite, and he went on to become World Champion.
Styles’ loss to John Cena, at the 2017 Royal Rumble, is somewhat confusing. We know that Styles had a “rematch” clause in his contract, assuring him of another crack at Cena if he lost his championship. Cena will defend his title against five wrestlers, including Styles, at next week’s Elimination Chamber PPV, but if the rumors are correct then Styles will not regain his crown at that event.
As reported by the Inquisitr earlier this week, it is rumored that Bray Wyatt will conquer all comers at the Elimination Chamber event, to set up a World Championship bout, against Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton, at WrestleMania 33. Wrestle Zone points out that if that proves to be true then both Cena and Styles would be left without a major role to play at WrestleMania 33.
It seems unlikely that the WWE network would countenance two of its biggest stars having only a minor role to play at the network’s biggest event. The WWE universe knows that John Cena has a lot of TV and movie commitments away from the ring. As a result, and assuming that he does lose his championship at the Elimination Chamber, a minor role for Cena at WrestleMania could be on the cards. The same cannot be said of AJ Styles.
Rumors have been sweeping the WWE universe claiming that Cena’s partner, Nikki Bella, will retire from wrestling after WrestleMania 33. As Sports Keeda point out, this could substantiate claims that Nikki and Cena will team up for a WrestleMania tag match against The Miz and Maryse. This would be a fitting send-off for Nikki, but where does it leave AJ Styles?
What Are The Plans For AJ Styles At WrestleMania 33?
Given the popularity that Styles enjoys in the WWE universe, it is unthinkable that the Phenomenal One won’t have a huge match at WrestleMania. It is, however, difficult to see where that match is coming from. The big event may be eight-weeks away, but there are signs that the WWE networks plans may yet be thrown into chaos.
This week’s Monday Night Raw saw Samoa Joe make a splash by attacking Seth Rollins on behalf of Triple H. It was naturally assumed that this marked Samoa Joe’s step up to the main roster and many thought that a WrestleMania bout against Rollins was in the cards. As PW Mania reports, Rollins left Raw on crutches and his appearance at WrestleMania 33 is now in doubt.
The 2017 Royal Rumble saw Roman Reigns enter the fray as the last entrant. Reigns had already lost a world title earlier in the evening, and he entered the ring to a huge chorus of boos. Reigns blindsided and eliminated The Undertaker, something unlikely to endear him to the WWE universe. The Undertaker and Reigns engaged in an epic stare down, and many assumed that was to set up a match between the pair at WrestleMania.
It is now being reported that The Undertaker may have to have a hip replacement, something that may well rule him out of WrestleMania. So, where does this all leave AJ Styles?
As Bleacher Report points out, Styles’ WrestleMania prospects don’t look too bright at present. Goldberg and Brock Lesnar seem to have a WrestleMania slot nailed down. Reigns taking on the Undertaker will be huge if the Deadman is fit. Orton has a world championship match, rumored to be against Bray Wyatt.
It has been rumored that Styles may take on Shane McMahon, but that would be a travesty. The WWE network has been losing viewers, and the prospect of putting its most valuable asset into the ring with a part-timer would infuriate the WWE universe. If the injuries to Rollins and The Undertaker are genuine, then the prospect of a match between Styles and Roman Reigns would be an intriguing one.
We would see the most popular man in wrestling take on the least popular. The scene would be set for a Roman Reigns heel turn, and an AJ Styles victory would set him up as the WWE’s top face for years to come.
[Featured Image by WWE]