In the weeks leading up to SummerSlam, most WWE fans had predicted that the John Cena vs. AJ Styles match was going to completely steal the show, and, well, it ended up doing just that, as Cena and Styles had yet another classic match. And what made it even better is the fact that there wasn’t a disputed finish, as Styles defeated Cena clean, in the middle of the ring after he delivered a Phenomenal Forearm.
It’s been reported that John Cena is going to be leaving WWE for several weeks to film the second season of the Fox reality show, American Grit, so him losing to Styles wasn’t much of a surprise. But, one of the most surprising things about the match came after the finish when Cena took off his “never give up” armband, and left it in the middle of the ring, which was a gesture that has prompted WWE fans to ponder the future of the former 15-time World Champ.
Whatever Cena’s message was, we’ll find out when he returns from the set of his reality show later this year. But for now, it looks like AJ Styles will be one of the faces of the SmackDown brand, and he plans to carry WWE’s blue brand a lot better than Cena did.
In an interview posted on WWE.com shortly after his victory over Cena, Styles said that he finally proved that he was better than the former 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion. However, Styles didn’t hint at what’s next for him, so we’ll have to wait until Tuesday to find out.
“How big is this for me? SummerSlam, sold out Barclays, it’s huge. You know why it’s huge? Because I beat up John Cena. I did exactly what I said I was gonna do. No Gallows no Anderson, just AJ Styles. I went out there and I proved to the world, to Cenation, to the WWE Universe, that I’m better than John Cena. Now he can tell you that for himself.”
There has been a rumor going around that Styles will be the next challenger for Dean Ambrose’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which is a logical next step for “The Phenomenal One.” But, it appears that he’ll remain a heel going forward, even though it’s clear that WWE wants him to be the face of their Tuesday night show.
As for how Styles will get a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, well, there will probably be a number one contender’s match on Tuesday’s SmackDown, where he’ll face someone like Dolph Ziggler, or even Bray Wyatt. Of course, his win over John Cena could be used to give him a shot at the WWE World Title, which would mean that he wouldn’t have to be in a number one contender’s match on Tuesday night.
If Styles isn’t put into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture, he may begin a feud with Randy Orton, who was just destroyed by Brock Lesnar in the SummerSlam main event. Styles has said in the past that he would love to go one on one with Orton, but that match may be held off until an event like Royal Rumble or WrestleMania because rumor has it that Orton will begin a feud with Bray Wyatt on Tuesday night.
Due to the lack of depth on the SmackDown roster, there really aren’t many options for Styles other than Dean Ambrose and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Will Styles end up holding that title before the end of the year? If WWE wants him to be the face of the SmackDown brand, then it only makes sense for him to win the title on September 11, which is the date of the next WWE pay-per-view, Backlash.
[Image via WWE]