AJ Styles has found success in WWE in his first year. Unfortunately, he may have to settle for Shane McMahon for his WrestleMania 33 opponent.
AJ Styles had a great first year in World Wrestling Entertainment after debuting at the 2016 Royal Rumble. Fans enjoyed a number of marquee matches, three wins over John Cena and a run as the WWE Champion. But all of that fell when he lost the belt to Cena at the 2017 Royal Rumble this past Sunday.
Article continues below ...
It was about a month ago when there was a lot of hope for who Styles would possibly face at WrestleMania 33 in April. There was reason to believe it could have been someone like Samoa Joe or Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship. But now without a championship, there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Phenomenal One.
A few weeks ago, Cageside Seats posted a list of rumors. At the top was word officials were considering putting AJ Styles against Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 33. This feels like a bit of a drop for someone who came into the WWE with a lot of buzz.
Rumors are rumors and usually come and go as time progresses towards WrestleMania. However, this one has built up some weight with AJ Styles calling out the SmackDown commissioner a few weeks ago. During a Talking Smack segment, Styles wanted to know why he was shown in the back row and Cena was the only SmackDown star on the front row.
Knowing how the WWE works, there is a good chance the officials will decide to make this into a storyline. Styles is one of the five superstars who will challenge John Cena inside Elimination Chamber on Feb. 12. There are more rumors that Cena is going to drop the title before WrestleMania and have a lower-card match; possibly with someone like Dolph Ziggler or Baron Corbin.
Where does that leave the Phenomenal One? AJ Styles should have a high-ranking match that is worthy of being a main event match at WrestleMania. But, unfortunately, the WWE booked Randy Orton to win the Royal Rumble and reports are that Bray Wyatt is going to win at Elimination Chamber.
This means that the rise of AJ Styles will have built up to a match with Shane-o-Mac. Having Styles vs Shane-O-Mac on the short list of dream matches is extremely unlikely. No offense, but Shane McMahon is not the kind of opponent Styles should be booked with at a show like WrestleMania.
But the problem is that the options are limited when a championship isn’t involved. That’s why the possibility of a Styles vs. Shane-o-Mac match are becoming more and more likely.
While AJ Styles could challenge Dean Ambrose for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. But with the storyline between Ambrose and The Miz involving Renee Young, the WWE probably has a storyline set for that title. It would leave Styles with almost no one else to feud with except for Shane McMahon. At least one that would make any kind of sense.
It would be better to have Styles get involved in the Randy Orton-Bray Wyatt storyline to make it a triple threat. It’s a lot better than placing the Phenomenal One in a throwaway pay-per-view match that is better suited for something like Payback, Battleground or Backlash.