AJ Styles debuted with the WWE in 2016 at the Royal Rumble and received one of the biggest pops in WWE history. The location was Orlando, Florida, the former home of Impact Wrestling, Styles’ previous employer. WWE’s crowd that night had a feeling he was going to debut in the Royal Rumble. They just didn’t know it would be in the first five selections, and against Roman Reigns. It was the WWE’s chosen one against the Internet Wrestling Community’s favorite.
He was pegged as a main-event-caliber talent from the beginning in WWE officials’ eyes. However, it wasn’t immediate on television. Styles feuded with Chris Jericho, in which he lost at WrestleMania 32. The former TNA heavyweight champion went from Jericho to Roman Reigns and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. As it was predicted by most, Styles did not beat Reigns for the title. Many thought he was getting pushed down after his consecutive losses.
So, the WWE Draft took place and Styles was one of the first draft picks taken to SmackDown Live. It was thought to be a great starting place for AJ Styles, who was on the verge of a breakout moment for the WWE. Tuesday nights were his time to shine and that was proven within the first month. Styles’ first rivalry on the blue brand was John Cena. He was able to defeat Cena and send him “packing to daytime TV,” as Styles put it.
AJ Styles went up against Dean Ambrose and the WWE World Championship. It only took less than two months on SmackDown Live, but he was able to capture the prestigious belt. He’s finishing up a feud against Ambrose and Cena, and it’s quite unclear what is next for him. In a recent interview captured by SEScoops, Styles spoke about two possible men that he would like in the future, who are Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura.
“We’re both on Smackdown! Live, so eventually that’s gonna happen. I think that’s gonna be huge, that’s gonna be fun. So there’s definitely guys on the Smackdown! roster that I haven’t had the opportunity to wrestle, and the RAW roster, and the NXT roster. I think there’s all these matches that people are gonna wanna see, it’s gonna happen eventually. And I’m one of ’em. I want these matches to happen as well.
“I don’t know when, or where, but it will happen eventually. The WWE, they’re smart, they know what they’re doing. And when that time comes, everybody will be aware of it, and they won’t wanna miss it.”
In an earlier report by the Inquisitr, Ambrose and Cena are going to take time off from WWE to film a movie and TV show respectively. So, without them being on SmackDown Live, Styles will have to take on newcomers and they could be young WWE superstars. Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews are great options, as well as Orton who is recovering from a concussion at the hands of Brock Lesnar.
Another option for Styles is Bray Wyatt. The WWE has never let him hold a championship in the company, so that probably won’t happen. Even if Wyatt would hold the championship, that would halt the incredible momentum that Styles has attained in the last month. Instead of a good babyface, Styles is now a heel that is just cool to enjoy.
He can reach that demographic the WWE needs to keep, which is the group of WWE fans they need to keep. If they continue to market their product towards only children, they will do nothing but underachieve. Styles is helping the WWE and SmackDown Live specifically. Ric Flair doesn’t think he could be the next Shawn Michaels, according to Wrestling Inc., but he could be.
[Featured Image by WWE]