Since joining the WWE SmackDown Live roster last year, AJ Styles has been a revelation. Styles’ matches with WWE legend John Cena were consistently epic, but as reported by the Inquisitr, Cena is using his free agent status to boost Roman Reigns on the Raw side of the WWE brand split. So where does that leave United States Champion AJ Styles?
Since making his main roster debut, Styles has been SmackDown’s top performer, and many pundits rate him as the WWE’s best wrestler. The official WWE website has remained tight-lipped about what tonight’s SmackDown has in store for the WWE Universe. Their focus has been on promoting the No Mercy PPV matches between John Cena and Roman Reigns, and Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman, so what will this week’s SmackDown Live tell us about AJ Styles’ immediate future?
According to Bleacher Report, a match between Styles and Shelton Benjamin may be in the cards. Benjamin is a former WWE Intercontinental Champion, who feuded with Triple H and Randy Orton before being cut from the WWE roster in 2007. Benjamin returned to SmackDown, last week when a promo announced he would be Chad Gable’s new tag team partner, but it’s likely that he has a bigger part to play.
Benjamin has a reputation as a very skilled performer, so the WWE network is likely to want to pitch him against AJ Styles, sooner rather than later. It would make for great sports entertainment to see Styles and Benjamin battle it out for the United States Championship.
Doubtless many would argue that Benjamin has a long way to go before he can challenge Styles for his title, but we have seen Jinder Mahal take and retain his WWE Championship already this year. The ink was barely dry on Mahal’s contract before he was promoted to main event status and winning a championship. There is no reason why Benjamin should not do the same.
According to Sky Sports, SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan sees Benjamin as a tag team partner for Gable, but the veteran is a skilled and underrated performer, who would undoubtedly benefit from a rivalry with AJ Styles. Perhaps tonight’s SmackDown Live will tell us more about the future for both Styles and Benjamin.
With John Cena currently appearing on Raw, Styles’ rivalry with Kevin Owens has been Styles’ primary focus. Styles would benefit from a new rivalry, so a feud with Benjamin could be good news for him, too.
[Featured Image by WWE]