When the WWE booked AJ Styles to battle Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 33, it was seen as a step down for the former WWE world champion. However, another argument is that a match against a McMahon is a huge moment for any WWE superstar, including “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles.
The fact that AJ Styles and Shane McMahon wrestled the opening match on the official WrestleMania 33 card was curious, but they paid off with a great match that saw AJ Styles win and both men look great in the outing. After the match, Shane McMahon was interviewed and was asked his opinion of AJ Styles following the big match.
In the interview, Shane McMahon did nothing but completely put over AJ Styles as a huge superstar and one of the biggest in the WWE. He said that AJ is exactly what his nickname indicates — phenomenal. He just wanted to see Styles bring his A-game and indicated that AJ Styles brought more than that, calling him very special.
The interviewer said that they spoke to AJ Styles, who gave Shane McMahoin all the respect in the world for the match but still wanted his title rematch. McMahon said that Styles will get that shot, adding that AJ is “there” and deserves it.
This ties into previous WWE rumors that AJ Styles was going to head right back into the world title scene after WrestleMania 33. There are house show lineups leaked for SmackDown Live, and one of the big matches is a triple threat between Bray Wyatt, AJ Styles, and Luke Harper.
While Shane McMahon says that AJ Styles deserves his title shot, the problem has come from general manager Daniel Bryan, who makes many heels on SmackDown Live jump through hoops for their opportunities.
The WrestleMania 33 match between AJ Styles and Shane McMahon was set up because Styles was supposed to fight Bray Wyatt for the world title, but Daniel Bryan changed it to allow Randy Orton to win his way back into the match. Bryan can’t wrestle because of medical concerns, so AJ took it out on McMahon.
Right before Shane McMahon challenged AJ Styles to the WrestleMania match, Daniel Bryan appeared to fire AJ Styles from SmackDown Live. Even after McMahon made the match, Bryan said he didn’t want AJ Styles on his show.
If the house shows are practice matches for upcoming angles, it seems like both Bray Wyatt and AJ Styles will have rematches coming up for the title they both lost. There might be a chance that Daniel Bryan has them fighting each other for that title shot, which could lead to more frustration for AJ Styles.
This could end up leading to AJ Styles organically moving into the same situation that Daniel Bryan found himself in a few years ago when WWE fans wanted him to get his world title shot but The Authority kept throwing up obstacles. The interesting thing is that this time, it is a heel who is having to jump through hoops set up by a face authority figure.
It could still work. Forbes reported that AJ Styles was as high as third place on the top merchandise sellers in the WWE, meaning only John Cena and possibly Roman Reigns were ahead of him. His first T-shirt instantly sold out, as did his signature gloves, when he made his debut. Even as a heel, the fans still cheer for him, and it seems he is an example of how a wrestler can remain popular even when working as a heel.
With Randy Orton as the new WWE world champion on SmackDown Live, it is clear that Bray Wyatt will get that first title show to play off their feud that went into WrestleMania, but AJ Styles won’t wait for long. If Shane McMahon is any indication, AJ Styles is ready to hold that world title once again for the WWE.
[Featured Image by WWE]