Is the WWE using AJ Styles for what he is worth?
AJ Styles was one of the hottest free agents in the globe before he signed with the WWE. His unique blend of offense and pitbull-like tenacity was something that entertained the fans regardless of where he performed. The fact that he looked nothing phenomenal and delivered phenomenal performances repetitively made him truly a phenomenal one.
I was one of those fans that marked out when AJ Styles made his debut at Royal Rumble. To this day, it is one of the greatest crowd reactions WWE has generated in the current year. There is no doubt that WWE has milked AJ Styles’ debut for all it is worth, but the lingering doubt in the minds of many fans including me at that time was whether the WWE will see him as the star he is.
It’s almost six months since then, and to be frank, WWE has indeed treated Styles well. Like many feared, Styles was never relegated to midcard. He has main evented two PPVs and has had meaningful feuds during his stay in the company. He has had programs with top stars of the product one after the other.
Even still, is WWE using AJ Styles for what he is worth?
If one talks from a really superficial perspective, then the answer would be no. This mainly stems from the fact that Styles has been made to job to Roman Reigns for two continuous PPVs, which infuriates a lot of his fans. A talent like Styles should be the one who needs to lead this new era of WWE. Instead, he is still playing the second fiddle for the top stars of the company.
With that being said, let’s analyze things a little more in-depth.
It has been hardly six months since Styles has debuted. In the six months, Styles’ character has undergone a constant and a gradual change. He started out as an adorable babyface who catered to fans and was happy to be in the WWE. His initial feud was with Jericho, who was a babyface then. The feud started out as a newcomer trying to earn the respect of a veteran.
Then, with Jericho turning heel, a new dimension was added to the feud. Though the WWE made Styles lose at WrestleMania, which many thought as the indication that he is being buried, they immediately pushed him to the main event scene. There Styles underwent a gradual character change from turning into a babyface to a heel.
They made his intentions unclear and the whole character of Styles was in a state that could well turn out to both be a babyface and a heel. They made Styles turn heel and go against John Cena, the top player of the company, later.
So, through this six months, Styles has undergone more character change than many Superstars have undergone in a long time and if I am not mistaken there is a face turn waiting around the corner when this feud with John Cena is over. It shows that the WWE has indeed taken Styles seriously and put more effort into keeping him interesting compared to other stars.
The props should also go to Styles for performing this character change so well on the screen. He has seamlessly transitioned from a babyface to a heel. Fans haven’t identified a glitch in his character change even a little, and that is how well he performs. But, we all know how good a performer he is and it is pointless to discuss it. The point here is how much effort the WWE has put into to provide him with such a backdrop for him to perform.
Moreover, the fact that WWE hasn’t let him feud with nobodies or not even midcarders indeed shows that they are taking Styles seriously. Jericho, Roman Reigns, and John Cena are top stars of the company and it only right that Styles is made to feud with these men. Regardless of the reason behind it, it is a positive sign for Styles’ career.
But, I don’t find it in me to shower laurels on the WWE. I do have some grievances when it comes to how Styles is booked.
Styles has been in three feuds as of now and he has lost the first two feuds. Anyone who has been watching WWE for a period of time now can state it boldly that Styles is going to lose his next feud too and he wouldn’t be called a fool either. Because it is John Cena and that is how WWE works. So, out of all three feuds he has been in, he has lost all three or more likely going to lose all three.
This is heading towards a disaster, and WWE needs to look into this once the feud with John Cena gets over. Styles needs to win some feuds to make him look legitimate in the eyes of casual fans in the longer run. If not, he will soon end up as what wrestlers term as “hell of a hand.”
I wouldn’t also mind a title on his shoulder and a good title run.
To conclude, though WWE has indeed put some effort into making Styles look interesting, they need to work on booking Styles a little more strongly in the long run to keep him as a legitimate threat even in the eyes of the casual fans. As of now, in my opinion, Styles can be booked a little better without hurting the progress of other wrestlers.
What do you think? Let me know by commenting below or by tweeting to @VKKirupa