At Money In The Bank 2016, a match that fans never thought they would ever see will take place.
The face of the WWE for the past decade, John Cena, will take on the man known as Mr. TNA, AJ Styles, in what has been termed a WrestleMania-worthy dream match.
The two stars were never expected to cross paths, let alone square off against one another, making their encounter at Money In The Bank truly historic.
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For the majority of his main event career, John Cena has come out on top in his rivalries, thanks to protective booking and his status as the WWE’s top star. Whilst this is great news for Cena and his fans, there is another side to Cena’s winning streak.
From Bray Wyatt to CM Punk to The Nexus, Cena has often been accused of burying his opponents to such an extent that their careers never fully recover.
With AJ Styles about to embark on a rivalry with Cena, many fans are worried that WWE will make Cena look good at his expense, completely destroying any chances AJ has of a successful main event career fans know he deserves.
Styles’ status as an indie star puts him in danger of marginalisation in WWE, especially when he made his name in their biggest American rival.
You just need to look at the influx of WCW stars following its collapse in 2001 to see how top talent from other promotions are treated. Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page, Scott Steiner, all massive stars in WCW, but when they arrived in WWE, they were all treated very poorly, despite being very popular.
AJ Styles’ own popularity seems to have kept him the main event scene for now and his association with The Club presents him with an interesting opportunity to become one of the biggest stars in WWE.
However, a crushing defeat to John Cena would surely put all hopes of a dominant Club to an end and with Cena’s track record, this is surely the fate that will befall AJ Styles when he takes on Cena at Money In The Bank.
However, not all hope is lost. One case that seems to have deviated from the norm when facing Cena is Kevin Owens.
Owens’ first rivalry on the main roster was against Cena and his involvement with the fifteen-time world champion certainly drew him a lot of attention. A lot of WWE’s main audience don’t watch NXT, so putting Kevin Owens in a rivalry with WWE’s top star was a great way to put Owens on the map.
As a result, in his first year in WWE, Kevin Owens became a two-time Intercontinental Champion, competed on every single Pay-Per-View over a twelve-month period and was even Intercontinental Champion going into WrestleMania.
A lot of this may have been down to the fact that he was allowed to defeat John Cena in his debut match at Elimination Chamber 2015. A win on that scale and the fact it was clean too, meant that Owens had some huge momentum going into his main roster career, helping bring about his many accomplishments.
As we saw with Kevin Owens, John Cena can be used to elevate the next top stars in WWE by putting them over.
Whether WWE will be willing to give a victory to TNA’s former top star at the expense of their own golden boy is unlikely, but Cena can still be used to make AJ look good and help him on his way to the main event scene.
Whilst many internet fans might be quick to dismiss the upcoming Cena vs Styles match as another Cena burial, there is still hope that Styles can come out of this feud looking strong and maybe, just maybe, he might pull off the biggest win of his career so far.