Opinion: Turning AJ Styles heel was an excellent decision
This past week on Monday Night Raw, AJ Styles challenged Ricochet for the United States Championship in the main event of the night. The match took place twice - Styles won the first match in a matter of minutes, but Ricochet's foot was under the rope. Hence, the referee overturned his decision and the match was restarted immediately.
In the second bout, Ricochet retained the title. However, this time it wasn't the match that left fans in awe - it was the stunning aftermath.
Just like the two athletes did last week, Styles and Ricochet shook hands. The handshake prompted Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, who were at ringside during the match, to get on the apron. As Ricochet prepared to fight the duo, Styles attempted to get things under control.
However, it was all a ruse. Styles blasted Ricochet with a punch and mercilessly assaulted the champion. Gallows and Anderson entered the fray to continue the assault. The trio executed a heinous assault on Ricochet. They closed the night with the "Too Sweet" gesture, putting the whole WWE locker room on notice in the process.
In my opinion, Styles' heel turn was a long-time coming. It was executed to perfection by WWE and it was one of the best decisions they have made in recent memory.
Styles has done (no pun intended) 'phenomenal' work as a heel before. He is an exquisite performer that can shine as a heel and a babyface. In 2016, when Styles turned heel by attacking John Cena, he went on to have an incredible run at the top.
He defeated John Cena on two occasions, he later won the WWE Championship from Dean Ambrose, and defended it regularly until January 2017. 'The Phenomenal One' accomplished all of these feats as a heel. Hence, Heel AJ Styles is a force to be reckoned with.
Gallows and Anderson have been treading water since the past year. The former Raw Tag Team Champions had a forgettable time on SmackDown Live. When they were drafted to Raw, they turned heel. However, they didn't achieve much success despite of the character change.
Styles tried to pump them up a few weeks ago, but Gallows and Anderson lost to the Usos on the same night Styles motivated them. I feel that the biggest beneficiaries, other than Styles of course, of Styles' heel turn, would be Gallows and Anderson.
The Club (Styles, Gallows, and Anderson) dominated the landscape of NJPW in Japan and they had a decent run for a couple of months in WWE. Styles' presence has proved beneficial for Gallows and Anderson. With Styles firmly on their side, they could relive their spectacular days (like their fantastic run at the top in NJPW) in WWE.
There was nothing left for Styles to do as a babyface, 'The Phenomenal One' ruled SmackDown Live as its biggest babyface for two years. As Styles often says, SmackDown Live is the house that he built. As the heroic WWE Champion, Styles vanquished the best SmackDown Live had to offer. He defeated Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin, and so many others as the babyface WWE Champion.
There were no other credible heels left for him to feud with. Baron Corbin is busy chasing Seth Rollins' Universal title, Drew McIntyre is currently helping Shane McMahon out with The Undertaker and Roman Reigns, and Bobby Lashley is dealing with Braun Strowman. As WWE seldom does babyface vs babyface feuds, Styles had nothing of worth left to do on Raw.
A heel turn should reinvigorate Styles and his companions. It has provided the trio with a fresh change, which was desperately needed. The Club has instantly become one of the hottest acts already with Styles' shocking heel turn. They have considerable momentum right now and have shaken the locker room to its core.
The opportunities are countless for the Club. The Club could have a dream feud with The New Day, which is one of the biggest dream matches WWE could book right now. Ricochet is out-numbered, his championship reign is in jeopardy.
Unless 'The One and Only' finds reliable allies, he could lose the US title to Styles very soon. Gallows and Anderson could establish dominance in the tag division, with Styles' assistance, and possibly win the Raw Tag Team Championship.
I'm positive that Styles' heel turn and The Club's reunion would be fun to watch. Styles heel turn has changed the landscape of WWE and WWE did the right thing by turning him heel.