WWE Superstar AJ Styles has had quite a run with WWE since he signed with them back in January. He made a Royal Rumble appearance and even had his first WrestleMania match. Both of which he did not win in, but the experience of being part of this was cool to see for him. Now, he is getting a WWE World Heavyweight Title match at WWE Payback against Roman Reigns. Reigns happened to win the title off of Triple H, who has not been seen since his loss.
The reason for this is the fact that his talent contract expired, but also because it appears The Authority wanted to take some time away. This is the reason WWE has been using Shane McMahon for WWE RAW's leadership since the night after WrestleMania. This was an interesting time period, which saw a lot of debuts and Styles winning a fatal four-way that got him into the WWE World Title match.
Now we all know what this is. Styles is going to face Reigns at Payback to make him look good. Plus a smaller guy going up against Reigns makes Roman look bigger and badder. If he faced someone like Cesaro right off, it would not do as much for him. Plus Styles is a great worker. According to Daily Wrestling News, Vince McMahon is impressed by Styles' wrestling ability. They see AJ is a great new talent that is easy to market, but he also helps serve a purpose.
This is good news for AJ Styles, who the WWE will most likely continue to use in big spots as long as he continues to do well, merchandise-wise at least. Helping Reigns out seems to be what the use is for AJ this time around. DWN reports that it was a recent decision to put AJ in the title mix, and there is a thought that WWE is doing this as a way to turn Reigns heel. Roman has been coming off like a cocky jack in the box the last few weeks, which is cool to see from him but certainly not how he was pre-WrestleMania.
Clearly due to the love fans have for AJ Styles, it makes sense to think that WWE is just putting their foot in their mouth if they assume fans will treat Reigns better even in a win over Styles. In fact, if Reigns wins, fans will only hate him more. So, it does appear that WWE is using Styles as a way to turn Reigns heel. The seeds have seemingly already been planted with how Reigns has been coming off on a weekly basis.
That said, could a heel Roman Reigns actually succeed in WWE? There is a thought that he very well could do so. This worked quite well for other top stars before they ended up becoming major names with WWE as faces. John Cena, The Rock, and various others were heels well before they were top babyfaces.
In The Rock's case, he was a babyface people hated so much that they chanted "die Rocky die" and even turned their backs when he wrestled sometimes. He needed to get better in the ring, but his character and promo skill was just terrible. Finally, a heel turn occurred and Rock was possibly the top heel in the company within six months or so. He would go on to become a top babyface who remained such ever since.
Due to The Rock being Reigns' cousin, one could imagine that the same magic might very well rub off on him. Roman Reigns surely needs something to make him work, as the man we have been seeing is certainly not the guy we want as a top babyface, and it appears WWE finally realizes that.
[Image via WWE]