“The Phenomenal One” has finally arrived in WWE. A.J. Styles, minor-league-lifer is now a full-time member of the only Big League Wrestling promotion left in town. While Styles is considered to be a TNA “legend” it is now in WWE where the truth about Styles comes to light. Can Styles hang with the big boys?
At the age of thirty-eight, A.J. Styles enters his rookie year in WWE. The beloved internet “icon” has much to prove to casual fans who are likely unfamiliar with Styles' work and career. Like it or not, these are the fans to whom WWE caters its product and to many of these fans, Styles simply won't appeal.
There is a certain sentimental sense that comes along with A.J. Styles at this point. Styles is akin to the rescued pet who spent years in the shelter; hoping to someday find a proper home. While adorably damaged, realistically, you know that its too late to love the animal with your entire heart for its best days are gone and its future is bleak.
Will A.J. Styles ever become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion? Probably not. Styles is ten years late to the party and the current buzz surrounding the wrestler will eventually fade as sobering reality kicks in and the fans move past the idea of Styles participating on the main event scene. This is not TNA, this is WWE; a world of great unfamiliarity for Styles.
In WWE, being a good wrestler is not enough; being a great wrestler is not enough. WWE is all about the look. The obsession with size and muscle-man-mania is far from over. This perverse idea of what makes a man a Superstar is a continuous trend within the company. And the reality here is that those in power do not listen to their audience.
With that being said, there reason to believe that WWE's newest aqusition will turn into a bust.
These are the top 15 reasons A.J. Styles will fail in WWE:
There is something not sitting well with A.J. Styles. While Styles is sure to be enjoying his recent arrival in WWE, there remains a rotten stench radiating throughout the WWE Universe; and it's coming form the Styles-related hype.
That foul fume is the scent of entitlement. "A.J. Styles has arrived, now give him everything he deserves." Such are the sounds of Styles fans. While Styles himself may not feel entitled, pushy fans leaching to his being present this feel in full force.
14 Not Owed Anything
The bottom line about the timing surrounding A.J. Styles' WWE debut is that Styles is not owed anything from the company. Styles is now where many fans feel he belongs and that should be good enough.
In realty, A.J. will probably capture the Intercontinental or United States Championship at some point during his WWE tenure. However, all those holding their breath for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship run will in fact turn a deep shade of purple.
13 Too Southern
The Southern Wrasslin' Superstar is a thing of the past; gone are the days of the Gunslinging Cowboy and "Howdy Ma'am" attitude. The South will not rise again within the WWE Universe.
A.J. Styles would have fit the Territory System with general ease as the local Southern draws were once a major attraction. However, Styles is not lacing up his boots for a Territory. This is WWE; a global company.
12 Internet Wrestling Community
The affectionately dubbed "Internet Wrestling Community" make their opinions well known (as is the case in this piece). However, WWE officials greet Internet Opinion with a shrug of the shoulder.
"They know what fans want more than the fans" remains the general concessions. While it is believed that Triple H is more in-tune with this community, the final decision belongs to someone else; someone who will never allow A.J. Styles to break free.
11 The "Indy Darling" is Done
These Internet-Sensation-Wrestlers are usually know as "Indy Darlings." These are the wrestler who work the independent scene and find the vast majority of their fan support out in Cyber Space.
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan - both former WWE Champions - were considered to be "Indy Darlings" but managed to shake the system; and it ends at Punk and Bryan. A.J. Styles will not be the next "Indy Darling" WWE Champion.
10 Daniel Bryan
Why is Daniel Bryan going to be the last champion of the sorts? This allows WWE the opportunity to counter criticism with: "hey, we let independent guys win the title, just look at Daniel Bryan."
Daniel Bryan is likeable (a lot more than CM Punk) and by using him as the final example of an independent wrestling "getting over" in their company, WWE covers their ground. A.J. Styles, like others (Kevin Owens, Finn Balor), must accept this fact.
9 Too Small
Roman Reigns in the Next Guy in WWE; whether fans are willing to accept that or not. Is Reigns a better in-ring performer than A.J. Styles? No. Is Reigns better on the mic? No. (They're both not that great in cutting promos.) However, Reigns fits "the look."
That desired "look" which will seemingly never change. When a Superstar like Braun Strowman is being considered for a big push, you know that's true. A.J. Styles is too small as a result will never receive those "big boy" spots on the card.
Where is A.J. Styles' personality? Since his arrival in WWE, Styles has felt very vanilla in terms of presence. In WWE, one must stick up like an infected sore thumb; make the people take notice.
While A.J. Styles has been given limited promo time (due to that Southern sound), he will need to make any mic time afforded matter. Chris Jericho said of his time in WCW that if he was given one minute on the mic, he was going to make it the best minute.
7 Nothing New
A.J. Styles can prove to be an exiting Superstar. However, it's nothing WWE fans haven't seen before. The springboard, high-flying, off-you-feet offence is nothing new to the audience as this type of performer has come and gone over the years.
While A.J. Styles will certainly provide fans with their desired "spots" it's not enough to succeed in a company where such situations are not the main focus. This is not the Shout-and-Scream Independent Scene.
6 Not a "WWE Guy"
Following many years of speculation, Sting - the last true "WCW Guy"- arrived in WWE. Recently and following his own set of speculations, A.J. Styles - the "TNA Guy" - has finally cracked the WWE roster.
Those who are not deemed "WWE Guys" do not make major waves within the company as the WWE Machine - especially now with NXT - has always enjoyed grooming and preparing Superstars in their image.
5 Lack of WWE Qualities
While already touching base on the fact that A.J. Styles does not fit the quintessential WWE Superstar, the issue must be addressed further. Styles lacks many of the qualities deemed necessary to succeed in WWE.
The look, sound, and style of A.J. Styles will all actor into play as Styles moves along in his WWE career. When taking a good, hard look at Styles, one cannot help but see the kind of "B+ Player" WWE has alluded to in the past.
4 Too Late
A.J. Styles - much like Sting - is a decade too late to the show. The kids have moved on to the next trend while Styles and Sting settling into the long-lost past; while not entirely forgotten, they do not provide that youthful thrill.
At this point in his career, A.J. Styles assumes the role of Wrestling Uncle. While Styles can provided the "wow factor" at times, his best is left behind as a stain on the TNA wrestling mat.
3 Casual Fans
"WrestleMania Season" brings out the "casual fan." Those who do not pay complete attention to WWE all year long and certain do not focus on other wrestling promotions. However, with they come back to the product in time for the Grand Spectacle.
This year, the WWE casual viewer will take notice of A.J. Styles and say: "who the hell is this guy?" This alone dictates success in WWE. This crop of fans will always know John Cena, Triple H, The Rock, and The Undertaker. Styles? Not so much.
2 Vince McMahon
Nobody gets anywhere in WWE without the backing of Vince McMahon; this is abundantly clear. And knowing McMahon and his obsession with Hulk Hogan-like characters, A.J. Styles will not be one of the Chosen.
Vince McMahon allowed A.J. Styles to join his company; to finally put down the Colt 45 and take a swig of Dom Perignon. While fans are sure to piss and moan when they realize Styles isn't getting over, McMahon simply doesn't hear or care.
1 There's Been Better
A.J. Styles is good; really good. Styles can wrestler and its always good to have another wrestler on the WWE Roster. However, Styles is not great. The "marks" may believe Styles can revolutionize WWE but he really can't.
CM Punk - a much better wrestler, talker, and overall performer - couldn't bring about change and A.J. Styles is no different. Styles will settle into the mid-card where he belongs while WWE continues business as usual with their system.