AJ Style Recent and Upcoming WWE Compionship Overview
AJ Styles defeated Jinder Mahal in November 2017, and kicked off one of the most phenomenal championship championships.
He had several feuds with Kevin Owens, Jinder Mahal, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Samoa Joe before losing the title to Daniel Bryan before Survivor Series 2018. Styles held the championship for 371 days and defended it on almost every continent on Earth.
He defended his championship on every pay-per-view from WWE Clash of Champions in December 2017, to WWE Crown Jewel at November 2018 (except WWE Elimination Chamber since it was a RAW exclusive PPV).
- Here is my analysis of the run with the top name of the B show of The Phenomenal One.
#1 Best – his match with Brock Lesnar at WWE Survivor Series 2017
Survivor Series 2017 was expected to fall flat, with the match between Jinder Mahal and Brock Lesnar being the show.
However, WWE realised their mistake and crowned AJ Styles the WWE Champion on a UK episode of SmackDown Live, which gave the WWE Universe a dream match between Brock and AJ at the inter-brand warfare.
While fans predicted a match, the WWE Creative let AJ Styles push Brock Lesnar to his limits, and at one moment, every spectator and each thought The Beast would tap out to the Calf Crusher.
The Beast would counter and recover Styles’ Phenomenal Forearm having an F5 to seal the bargain. The Beast won the match, but AJ was created by this match as one of the greatest in-ring actors of all time.
#1 Worst – too many DQ finishes
Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles had quite a competition heading into their match at WrestleMania 34. However, the WWE Creative team heated up the rivalry, turning Nakamura heels since the WWE Universe geared for an exciting feud.
WWE reserved a WWE Championship match between Nakamura and AJ Styles in the Backlash pay-per-view which saw both superstars hitting at each other with a blow .
Also, against Samoa Joe in a much-awaited WWE Championship match, AJ Styles squared off at SummerSlam 2018. However, the WWE Creative team gave another DQ end to this game as Samoa Joe’s hellish tactics angered AJ to hit him with a steel chair and disqualify himself in the process.
The WWE Creative need to understand that the WWE Championship is their title, and giving so DQ endings will devalue its prestige.
#2 Best – Defending the Championship against each SmackDown superstar possible
If we look at the list of superstars against whom AJ Styles defended his WWE Championship on pay-per-views, it consists of;
- #1 Jinder Mahal (Clash of Champions)
- #2 Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (Royal Rumble)
- #3 John Cena, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, and Baron Corbin (Fastlane)
- #4 Shinsuke Nakamura (WrestleMania, Greatest Royal Rumble, Backlash, Money in the Bank)
- #5 Rose (Extreme Rules)
- #6 Samoa Joe (SummerSlam, Hell in a Cell, WWE Super Show-Down, and Crown Jewel)
To be exact, AJ Styles has defended the WWE title against 9 different superstars on 12 WWE pay-per-views, and in stipulations like handicap game, no DQ match, and Last Man Standing Match, which actually reveals AJ’s ever willingness to work a game, and why he is the MVP of WWE. But amidst all these title defenses, there was a worst too. .
#2 Worst – Not Defending the title in the main event of a single dual-branded Pay-Per-View
The worst thing about AJ Styles’ memorable title reign was that his name did not close any WWE dual-branded pay-per-view of 2018. The only instance where AJ was awarded the main event slot was Fastlane 2018, but it was a SD Live exclusive series.
Even in the absence of the Universal Championship, the WWE Championship was not given the main event slot, as a non-title match between Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe main evented WWE Backlash, while an Intercontinental Championship game between Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler closed the Extreme Rules show.
This certainly disrespected the WWE Championship and its prestige, as not once was the name counted as the business’s premier title. AJ Styles deserved to main event several WWE pay-per-views throughout his epic reign.
#3 Best/Worst – The way he lost his title
It’s been rumored that AJ dropped the name to Daniel Bryan a week before Survivor Series just because the WWE Creative wanted to shield him from another defeat at the hands of’The Beast’ Brock Lesnar.
Well, if this was the real reason why he fell, I think that it was better he dropped the name ahead of Survivor Series because two straight losses to Brock Lesnar could have decreased the credibility of AJ’s character.
But seeing how the WWE Creative ended the reign on a random SmackDown Live episode, with the low blow being the chief reason, disappointed me. The 371 day title reign of AJ Styles deserved better than coming to an end due to a low blow.