One of the most intriguing feuds for WrestleMania 33 comes in the form of Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles. In only his second match in eight years, McMahon has a fantastic counterpart to accentuate the positives of his in-ring ability. Last year, the fact that his bout with The Undertaker was a gimmick match, Hell in a Cell, also assisted to bringing the positives out of Shane McMahon. Moreover, with these factors, fans are never dissatisfied with the conclusion of a match involving Shane.
McMahon has previously competed in three WrestleMania matches. His first one was in 1999 at WrestleMania XV, as he successfully defended the European Championship against X-Pac. His second one was at WrestleMania X-Seven in 2001, successfully defeating his father Vince. As seen last year, his third was against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32, but he was unsuccessful in this bout.
Last week on SmackDown Live, McMahon was brutally attacked by AJ Styles due to Styles being left out of WrestleMania 33. Losing the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble and failing to regain it at Elimination Chamber, Styles had an opportunity to become number one contender during a battle royal on SmackDown Live, but was simultaneously eliminated with Luke Harper. These two fought the following week, with Styles being victorious.
However, Randy Orton, who relinquished his championship opportunity as a result of Bray Wyatt being his “master,” revealed that it was all a plan and he wanted to become WWE Champion at WrestleMania. This led to a match between Orton and Styles, with Orton winning. As a result, Styles felt that he had to teach Shane a lesson by being left out of WrestleMania, which led to the attack. Instead of firing Styles, Shane decided to compete against him on April 2.
There are some who are criticizing this match because of the feeling that Styles should be in more of a marquee match. Earlier in the year, the were rumors circulating of him maintaining the championship until WrestleMania and defending it against The Undertaker, John Cena, or both. As seen, these rumors were either false, or changed as the Road to WrestleMania further unveiled.
The reason of why Styles is competing against Shane McMahon is actually worth applauding. According to F4WOnline, it is simply a litmus test for greater plans ahead.
“While there’s a large margin for error, I expect that the prevailing thought coming out of WrestleMania, even from those who didn’t want the match to happen, will be that Styles again proved how good he is. That will hopefully set him up for something even more important at WrestleMania 34.”
As of right now, the plan is for Roman Reigns to compete against Brock Lesnar for the second time at next year’s event. However, that is planned for the WWE Universal Championship. As of now, there are no early plans for the direction of the WWE Championship.
Based on the capability of this match, Styles could very well turn into a full-fledged babyface before the year is over. Winning the Royal Rumble next year as a babyface and chasing the championship would set up for an amazing story for Styles, who is approaching the last years of his career.
The match between Shane McMahon and AJ Styles is expected to be one of the most exhilarating matches on the WrestleMania 33 card. Stemming from Shane’s previous matches at WrestleMania, as well as his matches with names such as Kurt Angle, Kane, Steve Blackman, The Rock, and The Undertaker, along with Styles’ all-around stellar in-ring work, this could be one of the most memorable matches in the history of the event. If the plan is to set up Styles for a future big push, it is well worth the “ultimate thrill ride” that taglines this year’s event.
[Featured Image By WWE]