AJ Styles is one of the best professional wrestlers in the world and has been for longer than we can even really remember. The Phenomenal One has done some incredible things throughout the course of his career, and we'd put money on him doing a whole lot more before he calls it a day.
Alas, at the age of 42, The OC's leader is winding down and will undoubtedly retire within the next few years. With that in mind, we've put together a list of a few guys that we think could receive the honor of being AJ's final opponent in a wrestling ring.
10 Adam Cole
When you’ve got a connection like The Bullet Club, irrespective of your era or generation, there needs to be some kind of recognition for a potentially great feud in the long run.
Out of everyone down in NXT, Adam Cole (alongside the rest of The Undisputed Era) is the guy we’re most excited to see make the transition over to RAW or SmackDown Live one day. One of the reasons for that is because the idea of this match is too much for us to take. Seriously, let’s get it done.
If you want to push a young guy to the moon with the kind of statement win that is going to define his career, then Andrade is the perfect choice for such a victory.
The Mexican sensation has been on an absolute streak in the last few months, and it truly does feel as if this is only the beginning for him. There are many, many great wars ahead of this man, and he could take a huge step towards being a consistent main-eventer by putting Styles on the shelf.
8 Daniel Bryan
These two have already battled it out on more than one occasion, but we have a burning desire to see it again; this time, with both men being babyfaces (in a similar manner to Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels back at WrestleMania XXIV).
We’re talking about two originals of the independent scene going out there and putting on a show for the world to see. There are very few wrestling fans who wouldn’t want to see that, and we think the booking possibilities are absolutely endless.
7 Shinsuke Nakamura
AJ Styles forced Shinsuke Nakamura into a corner which he felt like he couldn’t get himself out of. Eventually, Nakamura snapped and turned heel. Now, the King of Strong Style is back: not only to defeat AJ once and for all, but to retire him and put himself on top of the mountain in his place.
Nakamura would be the perfect foil for AJ’s last match and it certainly feels as if it would mark a ‘full circle’ kind of moment for their feud, which, at the time, was one of the best things in WWE.
6 Bray Wyatt
The Fiend shows mercy to no man, and if you want to hoist him up into a position from which he will never be doubted again, you should have him take AJ Styles down once and for all.
We’d even argue that, after losing to The Fiend, AJ shouldn’t even be appearing on WWE television for at least a good few years following his retirement. It’s so rare that we get to see something as impactful as this, and while it would be a risk, it’d get Bray over even more than he already is.
5 Kenny Omega
A long-term storyline between Kenny and AJ was teased when Omega took over as leader of Bullet Club, banishing The Phenomenal One from the stable in the first place. It never actually happened, though, and while the existence of All Elite Wrestling makes this an incredibly unlikely match, just imagine what it would be like if it actually happened.
These two have contrasting styles that we tend to believe would work really well with one another. Plus, the promos would be a lot of fun, and there’s loads of history to work with.
4 John Cena
No more egos and no more distractions: just Mr. WWE taking on Mr. TNA with the careers of both men being on the line. Imagine it!
Cena and Styles have produced some of the best matches that we’ve seen in WWE over the course of the last decade. One more match between these two men would be an honor to watch, and while there’s no guarantee that it’d live up to the hype, they’d do everything in their power to ensure that it does. After all, they’re two of the best to ever step into the ring.
3 Seth Rollins
Over a decade ago, AJ Styles wrestled Tyler Black and told him that he was going to be the future of this business. Now, all these years later, the man known as Seth Rollins is ready to take over as the face of professional wrestling.
Some would argue that he already is, but while these two have already squared off, it just seems as there’s more to this story that we can unpack. If nothing else, we all know in our hearts that they would completely and utterly tear the house down.
2 Samoa Joe
Two TNA originals going head to head with nothing more than honor and pride at stake. They don’t even need to bill this as AJ’s final match for it to be special, because it can either be heavily implied during or Styles can just announce it afterward.
These two have been through some wars together, both in TNA and WWE, and we love the idea that their connection could bring them back together once again for one last showdown. From a storytelling perspective, there are few better directions that we could imagine WWE taking than this.
1 Finn Balor
Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles for control of The OC would be money, but let’s face it, a match between these two men would mean so, so much more than that.
It would signify two of the most influential wrestlers in The Bullet Club’s history, and in their own generation, getting the chance to paint the perfect masterpiece – and you just know it would have to go down on the grandest stage of them all. We’ve seen them square off before, but with so much being on the line in a potential rematch, we’re desperate to see what would happen.