Top Feuds for AJ Styles After Losing the WWE Championship
AJ Styles' historic 371-day reign as WWE Championship came to an end Tuesday night, and as Smackdown Live transitions to a freshly-heel Daniel Bryan as top dog, Styles is reportedly looking for a new contract. After getting so used to seeing Styles carry the blue brand's top championship for over a year, where will he go after he gets his rematch with Daniel Bryan?
Side note: We know that he will probably get his rematch with Daniel Bryan at TLC in a month, but afterwards where will Styles end up on the Smackdown Live card once that wraps up?
Here are a few feuds AJ Styles could have going into the road to Wrestlemania:
#4 Randy Orton
Once Randy Orton wraps up his sort-of feud with Rey Mysterio, he could set his sights on another fan favorite: the Phenomenal One. These two have only locked up once before inside of a WWE ring, where Randy Orton defeated him to earn a WWE Championship match against Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania 33.
Yes, Bray Wyatt was WWE Champion, remember him?
AJ Styles is the perfect babyface for Orton to feud with. When Orton first turned heel and feuded with Jeff Hardy, his reasoning was to "destroy all of [the WWE Universe's] heroes," and what a better hero to go up against than AJ Styles.
Plus, as mentioned before, this is still a fresh matchup. The dynamics are all right this time unlike the last matchup, where Styles was still a gritty heel and Randy Orton was a part of the Wyatt Family.
Yes, Randy Orton was a part of the Wyatt Family in early 2017, remember that?
Now, Styles is a valiant and grizzled babyface looking to claw his way back to the title picture, and what a better foil for the Phenomenal One than the Viper.
#3 Andrade "Cien" Almas
Boy, if these guys were given the right amount of time, this feud could be amazing. They've squared off twice when Almas first debuted, where in the first match the former NXT Champion pushed Styles to his limit. Since then, Almas has faced a great number of opponents like Jeff Hardy, Daniel Bryan and Rey Mysterio, but he hasn't picked up wins against any of them.
The biggest complaint about Almas since his debut has been the booking, where many feel like he hasn't picked up a decisive win just yet. That all could change if he and Styles step into the ring with a proper program behind it.
Even if it was just a #1 contender's match for something such as the United States Championship, potentially giving Almas the rub would be a huge boost for the upstarts career, and the Phenomenal One could get a fantastic set of matches out of him.
#2 Shinsuke Nakamura and the United States Championship
This feud would be all-but fresh at this point, but by the end of their WWE Championship feud at Money in the Bank, we knew that Styles and Nakamura could put on a high-calibre match on the WWE level.
Plus, Styles is no stranger to the United States Championship. In the summer of 2017, he feuded with Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin, and even a stint against Tye Dillinger. While it wasn't the most memorable period of his WWE run so far, Styles was a fighting United States Champion who issued open challenges and fought hard.
Nakamura is also one of those on the WWE roster who are left in creative no man's land, where he recently just lost in a champion vs. champion bought against Seth Rollins at Survivor Series. A feud with Styles, and maybe throw in one or two other challengers by the time the Royal Rumble rolls around, and we could see the United States Championship picture get a lot bigger.
#1 Team Up with The Club
We haven't seen much of them on Smackdown Live, but there is still a lot left to be explored with AJ Styles and The Club. We saw them briefly reunite earlier this year, where Karl Anderson "took the bullet" for Styles off of a Kinshasa by Shinsuke Nakamura.
Imagine the spotlight that the tag team division on Tuesday nights would get if AJ Styles rallied around Gallows and Anderson and made a push for the tag titles. We could see a great dream-feud between the Club and the New Day (no, not the one where the Good Brothers dressed up as doctors and pretended to be in possession of Big E's balls).
We could see Eric Young and AJ Styles face off as the respective leaders of The Club and Sanity, where two of TNA's mainstays face off to determine Smackdown Live's next faction.
Plus, if the Club go on a run to win the Smackdown Live tag titles (which would be hard to do given the depth of Smackdown's tag division), we could see the Freebird rule go into effect and AJ Styles would become a grand slam champion in WWE for the first time.
What feuds do you want to see from AJ Styles? Let me know in the comments below!