As WWE’s top babyface, Roman Reigns gets drowned in an ocean of jeers every week, while the company’s top heel AJ Styles has thousands chant his name in unison. Over the last year, WWE has realised how invaluable this TNA superstar is not just in terms of putting on great matches on a weekly basis, but also in carrying an entire brand on his shoulders with the help of a few other superstars.
As AJ Styles gears up for his second Wrestlemania, we look at 5 names he can create magic with. Read on, folks.
Honourable Mention: Shane McMahon
As fans of AJ Styles, we believe that he deserves a much bigger match than one with the prodigal son. Sure, it’ll be filled with exciting spots and AJ will definitely ensure that the match is not a disaster, but somehow the idea of this contest is underwhelming.
Shane McMahon has been in some memorable matches, but he is not a wrestler. We had heard that WWE wanted to outdo the Okada-Omega match from Wrestle Kingdom 11 at Wrestlemania 33, and with AJ and a serious competitor, this was a definite possibility.
Hence, we begin our countdown and name 5 legitimate wrestlers who can definitely give AJ Styles 5-star performance on the grandest stage.
#5. Shinsuke Nakamura
These two men were part of a modern day wrestling classic at Wrestle Kingdom 10 at the Tokyo Dome in NJPW. If given the opportunity, we are certain they can put together one of the best matches in the history of WWE. As we had reported recently, Shinsuke Nakamura recently even told Yahoo that he would love to face Styles at Wrestlemania, considering he doesn’t have an opponent.
This would obviously mean that Nakamura would have to be called up, but if anyone’s ready, it is him. Not only do the two men have chemistry, they also have the other component that makes a match special – history. Both of these men are not growing any younger, so if a match has to happen again, it should happen right away.
#4. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper
As it stands right now on Smackdown, AJ Styles and Luke Harper had tumbled out of the ring at the same time in the Battle Royal to determine the new Number 1 contender. This essentially means that both AJ Styles and Luke Harper are in contention for the WWE Championship.
There’s a scheduled match for them to settle their differences, but what if that match had a screwy finish leading to both men challenging Bray Wyatt for the Championship at Wrestlemania?
Harper and Wyatt have the history. AJ Styles has the skills to elevate this match and make it a classic. Sadly, this match may never come to fruition.
#3. Randy Orton
Think about it – Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles is quite a big ticket match. Sure, he's aligned with the Wyatts now, but don't forget that he’s a 12-time WWE Champion. For Orton to take on WWE’s hottest name would be a win!
In the past, Styles has expressed his desire to face Randy Orton. Considering how limited the Smackdown roster is, it is amazing how WWE has kept Styles away from Orton. What better stage to have these two legends clash than at the biggest show of the year? Both could also work a solid match.
#2. Samoa Joe
They've worked each other a hundred times. Each time has been more special than the match prior. These two TNA originals could absolutely steal the show. Wait, you say! One’s on Raw, the other Smackdown. How do these two forces of nature collide then?
Easy answer. Because Wrestlemania is the biggest show of the year, there could be a showcase match between the two brands for bragging rights. This could lead to Samoa Joe being chosen as the representative for Raw and AJ for Smackdown. So far, it doesn’t look like Joe has a confirmed Wrestlemania opponent either. C’mon Vince. Make the match already.
#1. Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle is going into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. He's already gone on record saying that AJ Styles is one of the best wrestlers on the current roster and that he would like to face him at Wrestlemania. Sure, this match has happened before, but TNA does not compare to the grandeur of Wrestlemania 33.
The best wrestler of their respective eras, we are certain both men will put on a match that makes us all proud. It would be the perfect match to end Angle's legendary career as well. Maybe even qualify for 6 stars?