AJ Styles has made quite the impact in WWE since departing Impact Wrestling and New Japan. Styles wondered aloud whether the WWE Universe would even know who he was when he debuted in January’s Royal Rumble. But his reputation clearly proceeded him, and his ensuing reactions have been among the best in the company. Styles’ unquestioned ability inside the ring means he’s here to stay and destined for big things.
Last week, we noted that there has been massive support for AJ Styles from top WWE officials, and he’s made a positive impression on Vince McMahon as well. Yes, the same Vince that for years preferred to cultivate his own home-grown stars and not rely on accolades earned outside of World Wrestling Entertainment. In his near three-month tenure with WWE, Vince and those officials have capitalized on the star that is the phenomenal AJ Styles.
And after all that and a main event slot against Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Payback, is change on the horizon for Styles already? According to a report from Daily Wrestling News, some top decision-makers questioned running with this week’s segment that saw AJ reuniting with his former Bullet Club members, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. It ultimately made air in what was spun as a way for the WWE’s casual fans to get an understanding of the past relationship between the three.
But the bigger news to note, and some that will certainly send shock waves through the internet wrestling community, is the idea that WWE officials are toying with a plan to turn AJ Styles heel. AJ is arguably the hottest babyface on the active roster at the moment, but WWE views the heel portion of their roster as slim and depleted. Management hasn’t quite accepted that Roman Reigns is a top heel. They had hoped he’d become the new face of the company, but the fans have clearly revolted against that idea. Styles receives massive props on a nightly basis and moves more merchandise than most of the roster. The latter might be the driving force behind keeping him babyface and holding off on any plans to turn him.
At the moment, Gallows and Anderson are receiving positive reactions from the audience, but their attacks are focused on The Usos, and most recently, Reigns. The Usos are technically faces, so the former Bullet Club members are blurring the lines when it comes to their heel/face status. If AJ Styles turns, it’s not known whether he would re-align with them or ultimately feud with them if the Bullet Club gains a different leader. Cough, Finn Balor, cough.
It was thought that inserting Styles into a main event program would be a catalyst behind turning Roman Reigns heel. Reigns has also been operating in that gray area thanks to his new catchphrase, “I’m not a bad guy. I’m not a good guy. I’m the guy.” It’s almost a forgone conclusion Reigns will move into the summer as a heel which raises questions about why they would turn AJ as well. It could go back to the fact that officially, the top heels on the current roster are Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. Solid performers, but not main-eventers at the moment.
Then we have to consider what plans WWE has for the superstars nearing their returns from injury. Seth Rollins and John Cena will almost certainly be inserted into the top of the card when they come back. If they’re both booked as faces, that tips the scales even further. Even Bray Wyatt was rumored for a face-turn, one that Stone Cold recently endorsed wholeheartedly.
How would you react to an AJ Styles heel-turn, and is it the right move? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via WWE]