The WWE Universe were left shocked when AJ Styles turned heel on the last edition of Raw and attacked John Cena. It’s the match fans of professional wrestling have been waiting to see for over a decade. This momentous occasion has become a reality with WWE.com announcing on June 3 that Cena would be taking on The Phenomenal One at Money in the Bank.
When AJ made his debut at the Royal Rumble, the question on everybody’s lips was when was he going to face Cena. After much speculation from fans that maybe we would have to wait until SummerSlam or WrestleMania 33, WWE answered our prayers and booked the much-anticipated match for Money in the Bank.
Finally, we get to see the benchmark of WWE taking on Mr. TNA, and this is how you book their rivalry.
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After one week of build-up, it seems WWE are going to push the angle that AJ is a representation of the new era and it’ll be almost a match that signifies a changing of the guard of sorts. However, with both men recently turning 39, this angle has already begun to be heavily criticised by WWE fans.
Whether the WWE likes it or not, this match will always be surrounded by the notion that these two superstars were simultaneously the biggest stars in the world at a period of time. Every professional wrestling fan links Cena with the WWE and will always link AJ to TNA.
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AJ’s run as the face of TNA is what makes this matchup so exciting. When Cena was dominating WWE’s landscape, AJ was doing the same over in WWE’s biggest rival American promotion; and more simply, many fans simply believed AJ was just in general a better superstar.
It’s a feud that needs to be based on defining who is truly the best. Cena is a 15-time World Champion and has many WWE accolades, whilst AJ has the international acclaim of being the best wrestler in the world today.
Heading into their Money in the Bank match, WWE must promote it this way, and AJ Styles must beat John Cena.
AJ has only picked up the one pay-per-view win so if he loses to Cena, the casual wrestling fan may not give him the creditability he deserves. Getting the rest of The Club involved in the match as well just makes sense, as it does put them over as a heel faction and makes them all look incredibly strong.
One thing WWE love to do is to have trilogies. The Rock and Austin had three WrestleMania main events, Cena and The Rock were set for three before The Great One had to pull out from injury and even in more recent times, Cena and Kevin Owens had three classic encounters to decide who is truly the best. Therefore, the WWE Universe should expect a trilogy of matches between Styles and Cena.
After defeating Cena at Money in the Bank, Styles should revert back to arrogant ways of his heel run in 2006. The Prince of Phenomenal gimmick was a tad corny, but the basis behind it was sound. An arrogant wrestler who can basically do everything in the squared circle was backed up with great performances every night he was on the card.
This swagger should be adopted by Styles as he regularly bashes Cena for losing to him. A great idea would be involving Shane McMahon into the feud who doesn’t want Styles to represent the ‘new era’ as an arrogant tool, and books a rematch for Battleground with no club interference allowed. Thus, allowing Cena to square the ledger at 1-1.
Obviously, this is all leading up to the third and final encounter at SummerSlam, but WWE needs to throw up a swerve. With the brand split coming into play, it would make a lot of sense to the have John Cena drafted to the Raw Brand and AJ/The Club to SmackDown.
By doing this, fans will be wondering how WWE would build a match for the two in the future. Styles and the Club should then dominate the entire SmackDown landscape in the lead up to SummerSlam. Destroying all the competition should see Anderson and Gallows even capturing the Tag Team Championships from The New Day. This could even tease a 6-man tag match at SummerSlam.
Cena in the meantime should revert back to trying to capture the United States Championship off the back of him winning at Battleground. About two weeks out from SummerSlam, the main event of Raw should see Cena challenging for the belt, only to screwed by a hooded man. That hooded man being AJ Styles.
With the seed planted, Cena could demand that whoever the two general managers are of the respective brands to come together and create a cross-promotional showcase match, where the two can finally settle the score.
SummerSlam in Brooklyn has arrived and our co-main event is set as a match that even the most knowledgeable WWE fans really can’t even predict the outcome of.
What do you think, are WWE fans set for a trilogy of great wrestling matches from these two? Have your say in the comments section and suggest maybe how you would book the AJ Styles and John Cena feud.