AJ Styles, Recent WWE Acquisitions Have Fulfilled Fans’ Dreams


AJ Styles’ WWE debut is the most recent example of how the current product is giving fans the booking once only possible with the use of video games.

For several years, many wrestling fans – myself included – would only be able to see a dream match like AJ Styles and Chris Jericho battle each other by having to get a copy of a WWE video game. Then we would have to create our own version of the Phenomenal One that could take anywhere from minutes to hours to complete; depending on how accurate you wanted to be.

Over the past few days, reality seems to be intimidating art as Styles made his debut at the Royal Rumble on Sunday, followed by a near five-star match against Jericho in his official Raw debut on Monday night. This seemed improbable a few months ago as Styles was seemingly going to be finishing his career on the independent circuit, Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

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It was understandable to believe that because of how the WWE would prefer to bring in new talents under the age of 30 and also create their own stars. It’s a system that had worked for several years. However, with the shift in leadership from Vince McMahon and to Paul “Triple H” Levesque growing, this trend of new talent acquisitions may continue to bring in stars from other companies.

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Styles isn’t the first, nor will he be the last. In the past year, the WWE has brought names like the former Kenta (now Hideo Itami), Prince Devitt (now Finn Balor) and Samoa Joe. Add to that the list of independent darlings turned WWE superstars like Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins – the WWE has definitely changed their focus of what the roster will feature in the future.

These names are likely to face each other at WrestleMania in a little more than two months and we will see dream matches like Owens and Styles that would have previously required the use of “create-a-wrestler” on your Xbox or PlayStation to book. We can all place our respective controllers down and see the types of matches fans have prayed for.

This trend can be linked back to the rise of superstars like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, each entering the WWE with established resumes and had to prove themselves by working towards the main event picture on the main roster. One can argue that the ability for both to get over is a big reason why the WWE has continued to sign independent favorites like Claudio Castignoli (Cesaro) and PAC (Neville).

Levesque has also been seen attending independent shows like EVOLVE earlier this month, probably scouting potential talents. He has also developed quite the cult wrestling promotion with the NXT development territory that started in Florida and now goes on tours due to popular demand.

While there are still some kinks to work out with talents going to the main roster, it’s easy to see why fans are getting excited. Just imagine the names still out there that the WWE could be looking at to continue to get more fans watching. The proof is in the social media buzz when Styles walked out in front of the crowd in Orlando, Fla.