WWE News: Why hasn't AJ Styles been wrestling on TV lately?
What's the story?
While AJ Styles might be both the United States Champion and the builder of the house that is Smackdown Live, we haven't seen much of him on TV lately.
Is the Phenomenal One is hot water with WWE brass? Is he injured? Was he kidnapped by the Lizard People? Nah, it's none of those things. It just turns out our boy is working crowd control on Tuesday nights.
In case you didn't know...
Styles' WWE debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble was arguably the highlight of the show. Since then, he's gone from the original plan of making him a "solid mid-carder" to both WWE and U.S. champion as well as a major face in the company's promotional work.
He's as solid a worker as he was during his TNA and New Japan runs and the improvement of his mic skills have been, well, phenomenal. So, how come, when it comes to appearances on Smackdown Live, it seems like the WWE "don't want none?"
The heart of the matter
According to Dave Meltzer at the Wrestling Observer newsletter, AJ's still working. In fact, he's...
"Working every night. Saved for dark matches a lot on Tuesday to make sure crowd doesn't leave during 205 Live."
That's one way to do it, we suppose.
As great as AJ is, even he can't keep audiences ditching on 205 Live if they simply don't like it. AJ will defend his US championship against Baron Corbin this Sunday at Hell in a Cell, which means we'll have a better idea of what WWE plans to do (or not do) with Styles going forward.
While I think Corbin is a big part of the future for WWE, you have to keep AJ as hot as you can for now. If there's one guy who not only has the respect of both the locker room and the fans but he has earned that respect, it's Styles.
I predict Corbin is eventually going to make a very big splash, and some veteran is going to take the fall to make it happen, but it's not going to be The Face That Runs The Place. At least not now.