AJ Styles has been on an incredible role since joining WWE. Many thought that he would be a mid-carder who would occasionally get a small push to satisfy the hardcore fans. And initially, it was said that WWE viewed him that way as well.
However, fans who had been following AJ Styles for years were well aware of how good he is, and how he was nothing but top material for any promotion he went to. He proved that in TNA, and he proved that in New Japan Pro Wrestling as well.
AJ has had incredible feuds, facing Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania, then main eventing two straight pay-per-views against then-WWE World Champion Roman Reigns, and then having an incredible three-month program with John Cena, where he went over him clean at Summerslam, thus dubbing himself as the “Face that runs the place”, a title previously associated to Cena.
The fact is, AJ Styles was getting some of the best babyface reactions on the entire roster and was selling merchandise extremely well.
The decision to turn him heel by Vince McMahon just showed that him, and the WWE officials had complete trust in Styles. And it is as a heel that he has truly excelled. He is probably doing some of the best mic work that he has in his whole career.
In fact, Vince is said to be so high on AJ Styles that he wishes he had signed him ten years ago.
The decision to put the title on Styles was made just a few days prior to Backlash, with there being plenty of debate as to who should go over, especially since Ambrose held the title for less than three months.
However, they pulled the trigger on Styles, as he is currently viewed by many as the true top star of Smackdown Live. If there is anyone who has benefited from the brand extension, it is AJ Styles.
And it looks like Styles will be holding the championship for a while. Cena is leaving after No Mercy for the rest of the year, which means that he is practically guaranteed not to win the title. Ambrose and Styles may carry on their feud heading into Survivor Series.
However, for fans of Styles, it is a great time, as WWE are going all out to push The Phenomenal One.
Post-Ambrose, a likely challenger to the WWE World Championship would be Randy Orton. Although it is too early to say, he could very well be the champion representing Smackdown Live going into Wrestlemania 33, as it is well known that Cena is most likely going to have the long awaited Undertaker match.