AJ Styles Should Win the WWE Money in the Bank Match


SmackDown Live is the “House that AJ Styles built”, and, as such, he should be the one to walk away with the Money in the Bank briefcase on June 18.

Since stepping foot into a WWE ring, AJ Styles has dazzled audiences, putting on four-star classics with any opponent placed across from him. Styles has collided with John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns during his time on the main roster, which is a “who’s who” of the best wrestlers that the company has to offer.

On June 18, Styles will step foot into the ring with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Dolph Ziggler for what could threaten to be the greatest Money in the Bank ladder match in history. Styles and Ambrose had an excellent spot-fest in a tables, ladders, and chairs match at TLC that resulted in “The Phenomenal One” pocketing his first WWE Championship, but this will be the former TNA and NJPW star’s first Money in the Bank ladder match.

Since Styles has excelled in every environment in the WWE, there’s no doubt that he’ll shine in this match, too. A 450 splash off of the top of the ladder? Yeah, that might be a bit much. But in a match that features competitors like Ziggler and Zayn who are also willing to push physical barriers to treat the fans to a great show, Styles should have a few crazy spots up his sleeve.

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We know Styles will be great at Money in the Bank, but the question is, will he win the briefcase? You could honestly make a case for any of these six men to win the contract. Owens could be a part of a great storyline due to the tension with Shane McMahon and his status as United States Champion, a Money in the Bank win would do wonders for Nakamura, a victory could result in a huge pop for Zayn, Corbin’s ruthless style fits well with an MITB winner, and there are sections of the fanbase who would undoubtedly root for a surprise win from Ziggler.

There is no reason to be upset if any of these superstars wins, but Styles should be the man to walk away victorious. It’s simple, too. Styles is the best wrestler in the company, and he is the biggest draw on SmackDown Live among full-time superstars. He’s so over with the crowd that the WWE was forced to turn him face, because fans still cheered him after he brutally attacked Shane O’Mac backstage.

Jinder Mahal has generated plenty of interest as the WWE Champion, and it isn’t just because it’s a controversial situation for some, given the nature of his push. What Mahal has done is make the championship feel like a big deal with his entrances, celebrations, and promos. Eventually, however, that will wane, and the company needs to have someone who can make sure the WWE Championship remains a big deal.

Styles’s first run with the title was uneventful, because it felt like the belt was just in a state of transition. He lost the title to Cena at the Royal Rumble in what was one of the best matches of the year to this point, and that gave Cena his 16th victory. Thereafter, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton had nondescript reigns before the title was placed around Mahal’s waist.

For a guy who received massive pops and put on tremendous matches with everyone, Styles’s reign as WWE Champion wasn’t befitting of a wrestler of his caliber. Arguably the best in-ring worker in the world and an excellent promo, Styles has captivated WWE audiences for over a year, but his list of accolades in the company feels a bit lacking.

At 40, Styles has a few years at the top in the tank, but considering how long he’s been wrestling and his style of wrestling before he came to the WWE, he doesn’t have as much time to work with as the other favorites to win the Money in the Bank briefcase. By the time he retires, Styles should be remembered as a legend in the WWE – and not just for his work outside of it. For this to happen, he needs to have more silverware, and a win at Money in the Bank certainly qualifies as a noteworthy accomplishment.

More importantly, a second title reign is imperative. Though cash-ins are more typical of heels, Styles hasn’t lost his edge now that he’s a babyface. On the June 6 episode of Talking Smack, Styles said that he didn’t fault Dolph Ziggler for cheating in their matches together, because “winners find a way to win”, reminding Renee Young and Shane McMahon that he’s used shortcuts to win before. Cashing in on an opponent isn’t the whitemeat babyface way of winning, but Styles isn’t exactly John Cena as a character.

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I’m of the belief that the biggest titles in the WWE need to feel like the most important titles, and that also makes me a believer in the idea that the biggest draws in the company should be in the main title picture. With a guaranteed title shot in hand, Styles would be back in the discussion, and he’s eventually secure his second WWE Championship. A cocky babyface who can back up his statements with phenomenal in-ring work is the perfect choice for “Mr. Money in the Bank”, and, of course, it doesn’t hurt that it would be another feather in the cap for the man who helped make the blue brand the well-oiled machine it is right now.