Roman Reigns and AJ Styles are slated to collide for a second time in the main event at Extreme Rules, in an Extreme Rules match. This rematch was set up at Payback when the contest was re-started twice in an effort to kick-start the Stephanie and Shane McMahon regime. Shane started the match over when both men were counted out, decreeing that there would be no count-outs. Stephanie then made her presence felt, declaring there would be no disqualifications either after the referee called for a DQ finish.
The first time around, the match was more for Stephanie and Shane to establish their collaborative stroke, with Reigns and Styles simply providing the backdrop. This time, the stipulations are predetermined, so it’s unlikely the match will require any interjection from the McMahons. That doesn’t mean Reigns’ cousins, The Usos, or Styles’ buddies from The Club won’t interfere, however. The match is designed for run-ins and outside interference, not to mention, foreign objects. Chairs have played a big part in the feud leading up to Sunday’s pay-per-view.
But the latest news regarding the Roman Reigns/AJ Styles main-event program would indicate a measure of change from WWE officials. Original reports suggested that this feud would continue up until Money in the Bank on June 19, allowing for a third, and presumably, final encounter for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship between the two. However, those initial plans seem to have been scrapped, as Cageside Seats is reporting that the Reigns/Styles match at Extreme Rules will be the end of it.
There very well could be another singles match between Roman and AJ, but Extreme Rules would be the final pay-per-view to host them in a main-event or one-on-one affair. It’s possible the two could square off on Monday Night RAW. The feeling is that Reigns will come out of the angle retaining his title and that Styles would transition out of the feud into something with Gallows and Anderson of The Club.
Whether this ties into Finn Balor remains a mystery at this point, but it would seem logical to include him in whatever next steps WWE decides to take with Styles and The Club. WWE is moving forward with Gallows & Anderson as heels, so either Styles will turn (WWE is in desperate need of top heels) or feud against them moving forward. As for Reigns, WWE has the option of either immediately transitioning him into another top singles feud or forcing him to defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a multi-person ladder match to headline the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
The company has done it both ways, with both singles matches and ladder matches closing out the show that debuted in 2010. Originally, of course, the Money in the Bank concept was crafted for WrestleMania, but the appeal forced WWE into making it its own standalone show. Last year, Reigns’ former Shield partners, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, headlined the pay-per-view, with Rollins retaining his championship in a ladder match that lasted over 35 minutes. Sheamus captured the briefcase earlier in the night by defeating six other superstars. The Celtic Warrior waited more than five months before cashing in on Reigns at the conclusion of Survivor Series.
The likely wild card in determining next steps for both Reigns and Styles is the aforementioned Finn Balor. The Inquisitr recently reported that Balor would make his main-roster debut the night after Extreme Rules on RAW (May 23). But Balor has been booked for NXT’s first-ever steel cage match against Samoa Joe on June 6. That doesn’t immediately preclude him from jumping to RAW, as we saw Kevin Owens double-dip against John Cena and Balor just last year, but it certainly throws somewhat of a wrinkle.
Regardless, it appears the Reigns/Styles feud will be ending a month prior than originally scheduled. One has to wonder whether that has anything to do with the recent report that Vince McMahon has soured on Roman Reigns altogether, wanting to move on from him in the main event quicker than he had hoped.
[Image via WWE]