WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE PHENOMENAL ONE?
Article written by Dylan Devine (8/7/20) *Updated (2/9/21)
Introducing “The Phenomenal One” : AJ Styles is without a doubt one of the greatest professional wrestlers in the world today and of all time. Styles wrestled in Impact Wrestling (TNA) for 12 years. Impact is where he really came onto the scene and began being recognized as one of the best wrestlers in the world. He could get a good match out of anyone. After he left Impact in 2014 he went on to have a two year run in the independent circuit and wrestled for the likes of ROH and NJPW. In 2016 everything changed.
WWE debut and resume : Wrestling fans had hoped for years that Styles would end up in the WWE. That came true at the 2016 Royal Rumble. He shocked the entire WWE universe and came out at number three. The crowd went absolutely bonkers. Styles has had a very memorable run in the WWE since his debut in 2016. He has had some of the best matches of his career, held the WWE Championship on two separate occasions for a combined total of 511 days, won the United States Championship three times, and is a one time Intercontinental Champion. As of late it has been very up in the air as to what his relationship is with the WWE and what the future holds for him.
Frustrations with the WWE and Paul Heyman : Styles went on a stream a few weeks ago and was asked if he would ever go and wrestle for AEW. Styles stated he was happy with where he is at with the WWE currently, but didn’t say no to working for AEW at a later time. Stories have come out that Styles had some serious issues with Paul Heyman and has talked about them before saying on stream “Vince McMahon was smart to fire him.” Styles actually ended up being switched brands and now is on SmackDown due to his issues with Heyman. Another reason Styles has been a bit frustrated as of late with the company is due to them releasing Gallows and Anderson. The three of them had an on screen relationship for some time and are all good friends in real life so this obviously upset Styles.
What does the future hold for Styles? : AEW has been rumored to be something Styles would be interested in doing, but he has quite some time left on his WWE contract so the likelihood of him jumping ship to AEW anytime soon is very low. After he signed his most recent contract with the WWE he stated that this would be his last contract. That could mean a few different things. It could mean he’s going to retire when the contract is up, it is his last contract specifically with the WWE and he’ll be signing elsewhere, or it will be his last contract with WWE as an in ring performer. Styles has stated before that he would like to be a talent scout for the WWE when his in ring career is done. Right now Styles is currently the Intercontinental Champion on SmackDown and has to focus on defending his title. It should be very interesting as to what the future holds for him. No matter what he decides to do or where he decides to go, Styles will go down as one of the greatest in ring performers of all time.
2021 : We are just about a month or so away from WrestleMania 37 and it is unclear what WWE’s plans for Styles are. He is currently set to participate in the WWE Championship match at the Elimination Chamber match on February 21st, but there is no way IMO that he will be winning the title in that match. I am not too sure who they’ll have Styles feud with going into the biggest PPV of the year. I really hope they give him a good storyline with a worthy opponent. I personally would love to see him maybe feud with Daniel Bryan or Kevin Owens. Now the very unlikely possibility of Styles winning the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber could set up an AMAZING WrestleMania main event between Styles and Edge. But I really think WWE is going in the direction of having Edge face Roman Reigns for the Universal title. Both Edge and Styles have expressed their interest in having a match together in the past. There even is a bit of history between the two from the 2020 Royal Rumble when Edge returned. When Edge got in the ring he speared practically everyone in the ring and Styles was one of the victims. Styles took the spear but actually ended up getting injured taking it and was out for a bit of time. I would LOVE to see this match as the main event of WM 37 as I’m sure so many other true wrestling fans would, but like I previously said I just think the possibility of it actually happening is very low. No matter what they do with Styles he will for sure make the best of it. He can put on a good match with anyone.