The best thing that could have happened to WWE to kick off the new year was the addition of A.J. Styles to the main roster. The worst thing that could have happened to WWE to kick of the new year was the addition of A.J. Styles to the main roster.
There is a no-win situation the company is facing now that the former TNA and international star is the topic on everyone’s minds, taking away from the potential main event at WrestleMania 32 between Triple H and Roman Reigns. Styles is the fresh new face on the block, the kid everyone wants to see in action, the one fans want to be like and hope he becomes the John Cena of this new and enterprising era of the business. Reigns has no chance to top the fanfare Styles has received since his Royal Rumble appearance.
Neither can Dean Ambrose of Brock Lesnar for that matter.
Someone needed to come in and take Daniel Bryan’s spot until a decision is made on the former world champion’s future. The only problem with that is, when (or if) Bryan comes back, can he absorb the attention Styles is receiving to once again create the cult following of the “Yes!” movement?
It might be highly unlikely.
Styles move to WWE was the right move at the right time given the injured reserve list WWE is currently dealing with. The fact the former IWGP Champion is mired in a program with Chris Jericho means one of two things. Styles, who is a younger version of Jericho, could be in this program as a final sendoff for the veteran. It could also mean the creative team for the company doesn’t know what to do with him and may have not thought he would receive such a pop from fans who want to make him their new cult hero.
I think the latter is more appropriate, but I could see this as an end for Jericho and what better way than to finalize his career against one of the best in the world.
Styles’ popularity further exposes the issues WWE has with booking and the unbalanced roster of babyfaces and heels. There is no happy medium and therefore, not enough feuds to go around. In a perfect wrestling world (if there is such a thing) Styles would come in and challenge the top guy on the roster. I don’t see him in a program with Reigns, but I could see him in a match with Ambrose with the Intercontinental Title on the line.
Fans would scream in delight if this match was ever signed. They would also faint if they get to see Seth Rollins and Styles face off with the WWE World Title on the line. But, for now, let’s catch our breaths and look at the real picture – the one that is creating more problems than solutions at the moment. Booking has led this unraveling of matches. The Undertaker has no opponent yet for WrestleMania 32. The rumors of Braun Strowman being “the guy” doesn’t excite anyone. The idea of Reigns and Triple H in the main event does little to excite me either. And if that is the case, what happens to Dean Ambrose? WE know there will be a confrontation with Bray Wyatt in Lesnar’s future.
Styles is just part of the problem, but he is the major factor in the company’s future.
When wrestlers like John Cena, Bryan, Cesaro, Rollins and Randy Orton return to the ring, the deck gets shuffled again. Styles will either leapfrog some of these superstars, or will be shoved down the ladder even further. You can only imagine how the fans will take to that. I suspect the impact will cause some shuffling of viewership, myself.
With the Super Bowl ending the NFL season this week, WWE needs to jump on board with its full-court press to get fans excited, to keep them entertained and most of all, not to piss them off. Styles should be a headliner, but right now, he is a high mid-card exception. The company needs to figure out what they want to do with him and fast. Failure to do so will only anger the masses. And that is something WWE doesn’t need with two months left before its signature event.