Will AJ Styles, ‘Style’ Leading into WWE No Mercy?


As Backlash 2016 has come and gone what will be the fallout moving forward with AJ Styles position on the Smackdown Live brand?

On Sunday, September 11th, AJ Styles captured the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Seeing him achieve such a feat in some regards is quite staggering, though not because he isn’t capable or didn’t deserve the win. It’s incredible because, other than Sting, there hadn’t been someone debut in WWE that was already considered the best in the world. While Sting was a far cry from the Stinger that lit WCW on fire years ago, Styles walked away from TNA at the height of his abilities, and in the process was able to do what fans were afraid it wouldn’t happen.

Opinions ranged from ‘they’ll bury him’ to ‘they just don’t see value in him.’ So when he actually captured the title, a collective cheer was shared by many. We say many because for all those that celebrate his win there are those that take issue with how he won. Unfortunately, when it comes to wrestling, much like many life decisions, not everyone will be pleased. What we can attempt to explore is where or not AJ Styles will thrive under the new moniker of WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

Styles as a heel has been much more engaging than he was like a face. His promos have stayed on script, and he hasn’t deviated from being the consummate bad guy and ‘the face that runs the place.’ Many take issue with how he got his first victory over John Cena, and how he captured the title from Dean Ambrose, but ultimately a heel is supposed to win by cheating. In fact, it’s more appropriate that he does these things because he is ultimately a heel that wants to garner jeers, rather than a heel that wants to be considered cool so fans cheer his actions.

So while we can argue that he will often face repercussions for cheating, and have to face uphill battles, there really isn’t anything to suggest he will lose those battles. He was initially teamed with James Ellsworth because he couldn’t find a partner, but that can be attributed to the fact that, as a cocky champion, who would want to work with you? It is too early to believe he’ll be booked poorly, and he is being booked in great matches against notable talent. A loss in the upcoming title match wouldn’t be poor booking in the least, but rather further progresses the storyline that he is involved in the WWE champion.

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While Styles may be competing on a multi-year deal, nothing was guaranteed. However, he has been elevated up the ranks because of his performance since his debut at the Royal Rumble. He has had solid feuds with Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns and John Cena, and regardless of whom he faced, fans were treated to an amazing performance by someone that is committed to being the best he can be each and every time he steps into the ring. Fans can be assured that he will drop the title when and if the company sees fit for him to do it.

In the event he does lose the title at No Mercy, causing cries that the company isn’t committed to seeing him as champion, we can beg to differ on that point. If anything, a loss in that title match while not being the one pinned helps him by creating a storyline for his drive to recapture the title. We would be hard-pressed to think of someone hungrier to recapture the title than Styles. He earned his opportunities and he beaten the likes of Dean Ambrose and John Cena to cement his worth as the focal point of the Smackdown Live brand, and won’t allow himself to provide anything less than maximum effort.

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He is only a few weeks into his reign, so rather than question whether or won’t he will be successful let’s take a step back for a moment and enjoy the ride that Styles’ championship reign could take us on. After all, would we anticipate it being anything less than phenomenal?