Is an AJ Styles vs. Shawn Michaels match really the best thing for Royal Rumble?
An AJ Styles-Shawn Michaels match would blow the roof off the Alamodome in San Antonio at the Royal Rumble
Was there ever any doubt WWE would do everything it had to do to promote the Royal Rumble in San Antonio, Texas? The recent picture on AJ Styles Twitter page about a potential match with Shawn Michaels proves the company is thinking outside the box when it comes to promoting the first major pay-per-view event of the year.
This is a great match in theory, but doesn't really help WWE when it comes to the world title?
I know there are millions of fans who saw the picture in black-and-white and got as excited as a child on Christmas morning. Actually, I did too.
The thought of seeing somebody of Michaels’ calibre in the ring with arguably the best heel in the company today is perfect for Texas. Michaels, who is a native of San Antonio, is guaranteed to be a part of the weekend festivities. You might also expect Steve Austin and possibly Undertaker making an appearance in their home state.
Here’s the Tweet that sparked the idea for this match:
Interesting photo..... is it not? pic.twitter.com/MKgF4XoAF1— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) October 20, 2016
The idea of a Michaels – Styles clash will put fans in the seats at the Alamodome.
I have to give WWE credit – the forward thinking, the notion that Michaels still may have one match left in him, the notion that Styles is the closest thing to a Michaels-type of wrestler. It all makes sense. In the interest of the company’s main title however, is it really what's best for business?
There are a couple of ways WWE can play this out. Michaels could appear on Tuesday night after the first of the year and talk about how he misses the wrestling ring. The fact that he is now working in Orlando with the WWE training center makes it ideal for him to make a triumphant return.
As we talked about in a story I did last week, if there is a wrestler who is going to return besides Goldberg, it would probably be Shawn Michaels. This makes too much sense and no sense at all.
Michaels talking about how he misses being in the ring, or the fact that he feels he still has enough in him for one more match, the fact that he hasn't completed everything he wants to do. It makes for great theater. And then Styles - the brash arrogant champion comes out and issues a challenge. It's euphoric. But it's not best for business.
WWE has created a roster imbalance, and I don't think it's going to change just based on Survivor Series, the World Title becomes that much more important. While there aren't many main event caliber wrestlers to challenge for the title, bringing Michaels back to claim a belt he may not defend may not be worth the trouble.
This is not like The Rock who challenged John Cena for a full year and then took the title. This is like Goldberg who is potentially a one and done wrestler with no title on the line. This is the Heartbreak Kid, this is Mr. Wrestling, this is one of the greatest wrestlers – set aside the fact he's one of the most popular ever – you ever get in the ring.
Styles is in many ways the new Michaels of this generation, but I'm not so sure this match works in the long term. A lot goes into planning and training and booking. It becomes a Hulk Hogan-Ric Flair conundrum of sorts. When will this happen? Can the two make magic in the ring?
WWE has its sights set on making things better and improving the brand for both SmackDown Live and Raw so the main event at the Royal Rumble besides the Rumble match must be for the title. And for the sake of argument does WWE really want Michaels losing in the state of Texas? That makes no sense.
Don't get me wrong. I love these kind of matches. I'm not saying that shouldn't happen. Unlike Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, there is a potential storyline here that is untapped. With Michaels you get five-star service every time he's in the ring. The same thing you can say for Styles. WWE is trying to make magic happen.
I suspect this kind of rumour is going to get a lot more intense in the next few weeks heading into the new year. It should.
If AJ Styles is teasing it, then it's important. If there are millions of people talking about it, at least the potential for it, it's important. My only fear is that an act like this, which shouldn't be a title match, Becomes a title match and therefore it loses what it was set for in the first place.
Here’s a fan-made promo of how it might look if the two were to get into a feud with each other:
There is no doubt this match would sell, WWE fans will be elated, and it could be one of the better matches of 2017. I hope WWE in its foresight doesn't forget why Styles has the title in the first place and it focuses on the fact this is a once in a lifetime event – without a title to be won.
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