John Cena made his highly anticipated return to the WWE this past week on Monday Night Raw, delivering another patriotic speech before being attacked by AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows.
The fans in attendance hijacked the segment by not giving Cena or Styles the opportunity to speak; the chanting continued for a few minutes before respect was shown by both men. That was until Styles turned heel and reformed The Club, a decision I believe is a bad one on the WWE’s part.
HEEL TURN WASN'T NEEDED
It's fantastic that this feud is taking place, nobody would have ever thought that the face of the WWE for the past decade and the man that got TNA on the map would be sharing a ring, let alone entering a feud that could span over a few months.
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While it’s great that we’re going to see a couple of match of the year candidates between the pair, for me the reaction by the WWE Universe showed that Styles didn’t need to turn heel. This would be a rare case of a face vs. face feud working while the fans are interested in what the feud has to bring, and find out who the better man is.
The WWE want us to loathe him so they shouldn’t have allowed Styles Cena as a heel mainly because Cena himself is a polarising figure who still manages to get negative reactions. If a Styles heel turn was the plan, then he should have targeted a huge face that the fans love, if not, then he should have remained a face.
The two men should meet as faces, without having to damage the character of one or the other and I don’t believe a match or a feud of this magnitude should begin at Money in the Bank. This is a WrestleMania standard match or at least one which should start or conclude at SummerSlam or Survivor Series. Although Money in the Bank is looked at as an exciting event, the feud does lose a bit of importance based on where it begins.
SAME OLD STORY
Already it sounds like a typical Cena feud; something fans have grown tired of over the years. He has highlighted the talent of plenty of previous opponents, that they can’t beat him one on one, how he won’t give up, how he lives for honour and respect before standing tall at the end of it all, that doesn’t help Styles one bit.
The likes of Rusev, Bray Wyatt and Nexus are prime examples of how someone so over can fall down the ladder at a meteoritic pace once you walk away the loser from the feud, Styles is on the verge of becoming the big star in the company, so this is terrible timing.
I’m not excited by it as much as I would have been if Styles hadn’t attacked Cena. It’s repetitive; the only difference now is that one of the most over stars in the company could be the sacrificial lamb to make Cena look good, and make his return seem triumphant.
A good change would be to see Styles and The Club walk away from the feud as victors; that helps Styles remain at the top, and it remains fresh. Over the past decade, only Brock Lesnar and CM Punk seem like the men that managed to get past Cena as the winners, so Style’s chances don’t look good, especially without the help of Gallows and Anderson.
Vince wants to protect Cena, which is understandable to an extent, but this protection could harm those around him, and Styles should be the last name on that list. Cena sells the most merchandise, and as long as Vince is around, that won’t be changing, and he’ll always be the priority.
So, while Styles may win the first bout between the pair, I expect Cena to ‘overcome the odds’ and walk away the victor, again.
The reactions from the fans on Monday night showed that there’s a genuine interest in seeing both men go at it, there are so many similarities between them, they’ve both achieved so much so it would have been refreshing to see the good guys fight and see who could walk away with the win.
The whole timing of The Club reforming felt a bit rushed as well, not only rushed but there was no continuity in the booking whatsoever on creative’s part. Styles was built up as the ultimate face when feuding with Reigns and against an incredible heel in Jericho, so it’s hard to make us believe that he’s now the heel we’re supposed to boo.
If Styles was always going to turn heel, then his feuds with Jericho and Reigns seem pointless, while The Cub could have even helped him win the championship not that long ago. When you look at it from a wrestler’s point of you, would you want to turn heel to win the championship, or to get a match with Cena, you know which one you’d pick.
The Authority, The Wyatt Family, Nexus, all of the feuds dragged out to a point where Cena had to win, and I feel the same will apply here but on a huge stage where it will be difficult for Styles to reach championship level again.
On one hand, I can understand why this feud is taking place while both of them are still at the top of the game, I’m just not sure whether fans will welcome what will happen at the conclusion of this feud.
Do you think AJ Styles should have turned heel? Have your say in the comments section below.