WWE star AJ Styles is the best thing to happen to the SmackDown brand for quite some time. Styles joined the WWE network for the 2016 Royal Rumble and went on to win the World Championship. Long regarded as one of the best wrestlers in the world, Styles won the World Championship in September 2016 and held it until he lost to John Cena at this year’s Royal Rumble. Cena and Styles put on one of the best matches seen on the WWE network for years, both superstars were widely praised for a match full of tension and excitement.
Many fans were unsurprised to see Cena win his 16th World Championship, but his win makes it difficult to plot the WWE networks plans for Styles over the coming months. There is no doubt that Styles is a class act. His skill, energy, and showmanship have made him a huge favorite with the WWE universe.
It is believed that Styles had a clause in his contract, guaranteeing him a rematch with Cena, if he lost his world crown. It appears that Styles has played his card and will get to take on Cena at this week’s WWE Elimination Chamber. As reported on the official WWE website, Cena and Styles will be joined in the 2017 Elimination Chamber by Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin and The Miz. Two wrestlers begin the bout and the other four are released from pods at set intervals. The bout continues until only one man is left standing and that man will enter WrestleMania as the World Champion.
As reported in the Inquisitr last week, WWE rumors suggested that Bray Wyatt was set to win the 2017 Elimination Chamber to set up a World Championship bout against Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton. The WWE universe would doubtless agree that Wyatt has earned a crack at the World Championship, but can the WWE network afford to go into WrestleMania 33 without AJ Styles as World Champion?
Why AJ Styles Must Win The 2017 Elimination Chamber
It is unlikely that John Cena will emerge from the 2017 Elimination Chamber with his World Championship belt. That would set up a WrestleMania match between Cena and Randy Orton, a match that the WWE universe has seen on numerous occasions. A WrestleMania bout between the two veterans would be a turnoff for many fans.
Bray Wyatt taking on Orton would be more attractive, but is it really a match that deserves top billing at the WWE network’s biggest event of the year. Bleacher Report thinks not, largely because that match would likely leave Styles a bit-part player at this year’s showcase event.
Styles has earned his stripes by holding down SmackDown Live, virtually single-handed, over the past 12 months. Styles has been a breath of fresh air on SmackDown, his skill and professionalism have been exemplary. Styles deserves to be right at the top of the bill at WrestleMania 33. Instead, Metro claims that a leak of the WrestleMania lineup has Styles taking on Shane McMahon. Many will see a match between McMahon and Styles as proof that the WWE network has lost the plot.
It isn’t unusual to see a WWE newcomer take on a veteran at WWE PPV events, but Styles has a history of championships going back well over a decade. McMahon is rarely in the ring unless he is wearing a tie and holding a microphone. Giving McMahon a match against Styles would be both shortsighted and counterproductive. What would the WWE network gain in the long term?
AJ Styles deserves to be right at the top of any WWE event. At WrestleMania 33 Styles ought to be at least challenging for a world championship. As things stand, that would probably mean that Styles would need to be holding a World Championship. With just seven weeks to go before WrestleMania, it is difficult to see how Styles would get another title shot before the event. That means that AJ Styles must win the 2017 WWE Elimination Chamber event and regain his world crown from John Cena.
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