AJ Styles needs to be moved from SmackDown to NXT in an attempt to boost the brand in a way it hasn’t experienced since Sasha and Bayley returned this summer.
The WWE Draft is set to begin on Friday with WWE SmackDown. Both the red and blue brands are jockeying for position select the best picks available. NXT has not been mentioned to date, but it is hard to believe they will be left out of the mix. That brings the conversation back to one AJ Styles, perhaps one of the most valuable names available. NXT needs to make the play to bring him to their show, where he can add another chapter to his career that elevates not only his legacy, but the entire brand.
Styles has done all that he can on the main roster. He is won championships on both shows. Feuded with nearly everyone available. Headlined major PPVs and taken part in multiple WrestleManias. He may not look like he is slowing down, but at 43-years of age, one must wonder exactly how much he has left in the tank or the desire to drain it as well. If Styles were to leave the organization, not taking advantage of the “Face that Runs the Place” on the yellow and black brand would be a major mistake.
One look at the NXT roster and its immediately apparent there are a list of names that Styles would put on epic matches with. Timothy Thatcher, Isaiah Scott, KUSHIDA, Pete Dunne, Santos Escobar, Timothy Thatcher, Tommaso Ciampa – all those names jump from the page. With or without a story, these are the type of matches that would steal any show, regardless of brand or promotion. Styles could even be a drastic help to younger and new talent like Jake Atlas, Bronson Reed and Austin Theory. We can even dream up the idea of intergender matches with Candice LeRae.
Plus, there is the angle and match that everyone wants to see. AJ Styles versus Adam Cole versus Finn Balor. It is OK to have zero hope in the ability of WWE Creative to effectively tell that story while giving the justice needed to their separate times in New Japan. But the hardcore and mainstream viewers alike would know the ramifications once all three men stood in the ring together. There is so much story to tell there that WWE would need to create another documentary to present right after that PPV main event.
Another note to discuss, is the value that Styles would bring in the recurring battle with AEW. He is a name that fans of that brand recognize and respect. There would be intrigue in seeing how he would fare against the likes mentioned above. Styles would have an impact in drawing ratings to the NXT brand that consistently falls behind NXT. Justin Credible and Lance Storm were called the Impact Players back in ECW, but Styles would have the rights to bringing that name back if he helped carrying NXT into a more competitive position.
WWE leadership needs to think long and hard about moving some names from SmackDown and Monday Night Raw over the NXT. AJ Styles should be first on that list because he would create wrestling gold with the men and women on the NXT brand.