At one time, the thought of AJ Styles wrestling inside a WWE ring as The Phenomenal One was a fantasy of many wrestling fans. It seemed that no matter how grand and successful he became outside of WWE, he’d be labeled as the best wrestler that didn’t perform on the best stage the industry has to offer. A lot of people wanted to know if his success would continue and there were dozens of dream matches they wanted to see.
After months of speculation about it finally becoming a reality, AJ Styles debuted during the WWE Royal Rumble PPV and has been tremendously successful over his first year on WWE programming. It is still a surreal sight, but Styles is the current WWE World Champion as well as the top heel and performer on SmackDown. He’s done great work with John Cena, Dean Ambrose, and many others since the brand split.
Needless to say, AJ Styles has been as successful as wrestling fans and the WWE Universe had hoped for all those years. There is still so much more for him to do in WWE, but his recent run of success has been due to turning heel several months back and running with the “best wrestler in the world” reputation. However, it is now being rumored that AJ Styles may be undergoing some big character changes before Wrestlemania.
According to a recent report, WWE officials are tossing around the idea of AJ Styles turning face before next year’s Wrestlemania. This may come as a surprise since he just turned heel not even six months ago and he has been doing phenomenal work as the top heel on SmackDown, but Wrestlemania 33 is still a long way away from the present day. A lot can happen on WWE programming between now and April.
First and foremost, it is very unlikely that WWE officials will pull the trigger on an AJ Styles face turn until after WWE TLC in early December. He’s been announced as one of the five members of Team SmackDown that will face Team Raw in a five-on-five Survivor Series elimination match at WWE Survivor Series later on this month. The expectation is that Styles won’t be defending the WWE title at the PPV.
However, the announcement was made during Talking Smack this week that Styles will defend the WWE Championship against Dean Ambrose in a TLC match during the WWE TLC PPV. Ambrose is still one of the strongest babyfaces in the company, so their feud will likely conclude before any plans for Styles to turn face begin on WWE television. In early 2017, John Cena’s return could give WWE the green light for that angle.
As of this writing, the potential for Cena vs. Styles to continue once the former returns to WWE television is still alive and well. However, WWE’s plans for the latter to turn face would open up a lot more options for AJ Styles heading into his second Wrestlemania. Although the rumors about Shawn Michaels coming out of retirement don’t seem to be coming true, there are still many interesting matches for him to wrestle in 2017.
For example, Randy Orton is one of the top choices from the WWE Universe to enter into a feud with AJ, and Styles has specifically mentioned that The Viper is someone he’d enjoy wrestling in the future. But, the recent heel turn from Orton with The Wyatt Family would make a feud between them difficult. AJ turning face over the next few months would give both men the opportunity to bring another dream match to life.
AJ Styles has already feuded with and successfully defeated most of the top faces on SmackDown’s roster, so a change of character and a face turn could be the next step to cement him as a top guy for the brand in the same way WWE has recently done for Seth Rollins on Raw. There is no doubt that Styles could handle a face turn over the coming months, but it’ll be up to WWE if they want to pull the plug early on a good thing.
[Featured Image by WWE]