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Old 04-15-2018, 12:13 AM   #1
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Is it too late for AJ Styles to be the top face in the company?

According to recent reports, John Cena is still the #1 merch seller in the WWE. Reigns and Styles come in at #2, with the big difference being that Reigns has the machine behind him while AJ does not. I wonder if AJ is capable of being the face of the company, and if he’d succeed in that role? AJ Styles isn’t young anymore, but would he able to handle the physical demands of being the number one guy? I think if pushed correctly, AJ could be what Daniel Bryan was a few years ago.

Moving AJ to RAW and pushing him as the top guy would also open the door to turning Reigns heel, assuming that AJ started to succeed as a top face on RAW.

Last edited by Luigi; 04-15-2018 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:34 AM   #2
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Sup Heyman.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:18 AM   #3
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Yes
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:33 AM   #4
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He's the top face on Smackdown and doesn't get any of the boos. If he switches to Raw it could work.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:17 AM   #5
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Yes. He couldn't have been the face of the company 10 years ago either though. He doesn't have what it takes.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:51 AM   #6
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If WWE got him years earlier it would be a whole different story.

Just let him run Smackdown. That's good enough for me.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:06 AM   #7
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At one point I would have said I'm not sure but something happens AJ where he became a lot more well-rounded at least on the mic like he became fun to hear and of course his skills in the ring are second to none except maybe Daniel Bryan so I'm going to say not too late he could have he seems to be Vince McMahon's New Shawn Michaels aka the spot that Dolph Ziggler was clearly gunning for.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #1-wwf-fan View Post
Yes. He couldn't have been the face of the company 10 years ago either though. He doesn't have what it takes.
You said that for a few people I don't think you be saying that if the say the machine had gotten behind him instead of Roman Reigns if he had been there earlier the thing is that we pretty much been conditioned to see Roman as the man so you just accept it even if you don't like him although I don't accept it at all I think he should be like mid card at best
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:23 AM   #9
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Yes. He couldn't have been the face of the company 10 years ago either though. He doesn't have what it takes.
Why do you feel this way? Can you please elaborate?
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:58 AM   #10
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AJ is your Daniel Bryan. An awesome worker. Amazing talent. But can he really draw NEW fans in? That is what the face of the company needs to do. It is something Reigns is 100% not doing too.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:51 AM   #11
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AJ is your Daniel Bryan. An awesome worker. Amazing talent. But can he really draw NEW fans in? That is what the face of the company needs to do. It is something Reigns is 100% not doing too.
You make solid points. Hereís my POV. There is no one in the WWE right now that can bring in new fans. Maybe Ronda Rousey can attract some Non-wwe fans, but as far as male wrestlers go, I donít think the WWE has anyone at current. If thatís the case, then why not go with someone that atleast the smarks will love? (Styles). Given his merch success, itís not Styles is way down the list from guys like Cena and Reigns. Itís pretty much Cena at number one, and then AJ and Reigns at number 2 (AJ without the machine behind him). Unfortunately, I think AJís age is too much of a factor.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:07 AM   #12
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The way I see it age is the only thing holding him back. TNA was all set to build their company around the guy until they decided to go down the path of WWE Rejects and geriatric old men.
The guy actually does scream Superstar he's got a great Look to Him he seems like a fun guy the accent quite frankly as Charming. Children and adults love him I can't fathom how anybody doesn't think he has the it Factor
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:07 AM   #13
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I don't really see the next "jacked up baby face with undeniable charisma" ala Bruno, Hogan, Rock, Cena .... and I guess Reigns who has been thrust into that role... Anyway I don't see the guy after Reigns. I see the next CM Punk (Alistar Black), and the next Daniel Bryan/HBK type (Johnny Gargano), the next giant (Lars Sullivan), but they haven't got the next John Cena. I don't think they will have a guy like that for some time. We are going into the new "Bret/Shawn/Austin" era where there is a prototypical babyface leading the company. But those were some damn good time so lets let it roll.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:43 AM   #14
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Bret and shawn both almost saw the company go out of business
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:03 PM   #15
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Shawn and Bret were better draws as heel champs.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:06 PM   #16
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Shawn was a draw once he became a "legend."

Bret was never a draw.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:13 PM   #17
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I think Bret drew decently in 1997. Not huge or anything, but it was good... enough to keep them alive.

Shawn as a heel at the end of 1997/98 did well from what I know.

I'm aware that at the beginning of 1998 or something the company almost went under... but they made some good moves and Shawn drew at Mania.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:13 PM   #18
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I mean you can say it was Tyson and Austin, but Shawn was champ.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:25 PM   #19
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I think AJ is a part of a team of top guys but he is not the WWE's top guy.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:37 PM   #20
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At the end of the day, we'll never know with guys who aren't given the top guy treatment.

With Bret, he never had anyone pass the torch. He won his first title at a house show that didn't air until it was released on colliseum video. His 2nd title win was Yoko falling off the 2nd rope, and he didn't even headline any shows after that. Even by the time he won the title in 1997 the only main event he wrestled was against Shawn during he screwjob.

Even with Daniel Bryan, he went over HHH, but a month later he's feuding with Kane and it's absolute death. He's running away afraid. Honestly, thank fucking god he got injured because they wanted to tank his run to prove a point.

But the anointed guys like Shawn and Roman get chance after chance after chance after chance. Same with HHH. Shawn didn't draw in 96 but you best believe Vince went to that well until it was clear Austin wasn't going to be stopped. Cena was a "draw" I guess, but not really. But he was anointed so he got to run with the ball even though he was never truly accepted.

Roman has gotten 4 straight main events and he hasn't moved the needle. And he's still gonna beat Brock in Saudi Arabia, and that's gonna fail. But they'll keep pushing him until fans half-heartedly accept him like they did with Cena because what fucking choice do you have other than not watching? And then they'll say "WE TOLD YOU HE WAS A DRAW".
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:38 PM   #21
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If they gave AJ even a lick of a shot... he'd get one big main event, and when that wouldn't draw (which honestly, it wouldn't) they'd say "AJ's not a draw" and pull the plug and we'd never find out.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:41 PM   #22
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Cena was crazy over for awhile even during his face run. It wasn't until months after the face turn did the crowd go against him.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:41 PM   #23
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He still 11100000% drew in little kids too. That cant br denied.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:04 PM   #24
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Yes
DDP was the Top face of WCW...so yes.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:06 PM   #25
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He still 11100000% drew in little kids too. That cant br denied.
little kids liked him and it helped w/ merch but he isn't an all time draw, that's for damned sure.

and he earned his spot, there's no doubt about that. but when the fans turned on him, it was for a reason.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:24 PM   #26
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There are only like 5 people who actually drew. Like there name is there so a lot of people bought the ppv that would not otherwise. If you take Cena out of WWE then there rating would have plummeted years ago. Take AJ out now and the numbers stay the same.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:28 PM   #27
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Take AJ out now and the numbers stay the same.
I never said this wasn't the case. But he's not been placed in the position to draw and be a Cena-like character. Literally the entire show was centered around Cena for a decade. Every segment talked about Cena. He went over the entire RAW roster in one match.

AJ is considered part of the WWE, but he is barely a focal point. So yeah, remove him, and nobody would really care.

That's all I was saying.

And my other point is with all that Cena's been given to run with, he hasn't done all that much. Still tremendous at what he does. But is contributions to the overall product are drastically overstated.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:36 PM   #28
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Pssss. He had Orton when he killed the entire roster. Or are you talking about a different match?

But agreed.

The real question is will WWE ever allow another mega superstar. Despite who they have I domt think they want anyone to be able to rise above the WWE.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:37 PM   #29
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lol oh yeah sorry, him and one other person squashed the entire roster
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:39 PM   #30
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They want Roman to be "The Guy". And honestly, I firmly believe at some point the fans will kind of give up. It'll be kind of like Cena in that they'll go from "hating" him to "respecting" him and they won't even understand why. I get the Roman vitriol is worse than Cena's ever was. But you keep pushing him over and over, eventually the fans'll be like "fuck it".

Mind you, even if they booked AJ like they're booking Roman, he'd probably take negative backlash. They have no idea how to make things seem organic.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:32 PM   #31
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Quote:
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They want Roman to be "The Guy". And honestly, I firmly believe at some point the fans will kind of give up. It'll be kind of like Cena in that they'll go from "hating" him to "respecting" him and they won't even understand why. I get the Roman vitriol is worse than Cena's ever was. But you keep pushing him over and over, eventually the fans'll be like "fuck it".

Mind you, even if they booked AJ like they're booking Roman, he'd probably take negative backlash. They have no idea how to make things seem organic.
That is exactly what is going to happen. People get fatigued and they stop resisting, and Vince can get away with it because he has no perceived competition and is a stubborn motherfucker. He can have Brock beat Reigns ten more times before randomly putting the belt on him, and that is entirely his choice and you have one choice: watch or not.

People have chosen not to watch. Ratings went down under Cena -- a higher rate than television ratings themselves have declined. Attendance is down with no signs of it really increasing. They will charge more money for the fans who will go to their shows. They will do deals with developing countries in order to take the circus to them in order to stay afloat. They will sign hot women and put them in reality shows to cover their costs. They're living on this edge of a bubble that might one day pop, but they can ride for the foreseeable future.

At some point, Reigns will just be a guy who has been in 10 WrestleMania main events with as many World Titles and will be a "legend" by the narrative they get to set. He'll have sold a lot of merchandise, been in front of millions of people, had a lot of "good" matches, and -- to a certain section of an audience that is conditioned to seeing him perform -- will affect business when he's not around.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:49 PM   #32
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On AJ Styles:

I think he's one of the most talented guys they've ever had. Even back in the TNA days -- he had that Rey Mysterio/Jeff Hardy/RVD "cool factor" about him. Maybe it's a hangover from the extreme sport days, and skateboard culture, but there was something "kickin'" about his style. The high-flying, the attitude, the name, his presentation. My brother, who is not the biggest wrestling fan, had heard of him and checked out some of his matches. That's entirely anecdotal, but I think there has always been a certain charisma there.

If Vince Russo and Dixie Carter's crazy vision for TNA did anything, it was that it saddled certain wrestlers with gimmicks and angles that were so misshapen they had to learn new skills. These are arguably skills they shouldn't have needed to learn. But guys like Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode and AJ Styles have been much better equipped to deal with the WWE and a sports entertainment presentation by TNA than most of us would probably like to admit. Joe and Styles are arguably two of the most charismatic people on the roster. Think about that. Neither was known for being a "promo guy" earlier in their careers.

That and Japan helped AJ Styles get the confidence he needed -- and I do believe it is confidence -- to become the complete package he is today. He knows how good he is -- not in an arrogant way -- so he's able to "not give a fuck" in that constructive kind of way. He knows he's bulletproof. He looked good putting over James Ellsworth (as much as anybody can). You can tell he's made a fan out of Vince McMahon, and he's retained what made him TNA AJ Styles and NJPW AJ Styles while incorporating WWE AJ Styles. He's so fucking good. I always thought he would do well in the WWE (better than people expected, anyway), but I'm shocked as to what a perfect fit it all is, and how his charisma comes out in promos as well as in his ring work.

I think age is only a factor in the sense that you can't plan 10 years around him. In WWE terms, he is very young. He's fresh. Physically, he seems fucking amazing. 40 or not, he's so much better than everybody else around him. That being said: I don't think he can be "the guy."

He works as an alien. He's fascinating because he's this world-traveled world-class wrestler that has come in with fanfare -- kicked down the door, frankly -- and has been a breath of fresh air in the ring and on the stick. It's been really fun. I like him as the guy they build SmackDown around. I like him as an old-school style Intercontinental Champion. I think he's great in the semi-main or working with a top heel champion every now and then, but I think you risk losing what makes him interesting if you circumvent things around him too much. But that might just be my conditioning.

For now: I think he's the best bet. Until you can get Dan Matha ready or whatever. Reigns is not cutting the cheese. I mean, we're in a different time, but AJ Styles has already spent more time as WWE Champion than Kurt Angle, Edge or The Undertaker, and it still feels "fresh." We're sitting here discussing whether or not they can push him too hard, but look at what they've already done with him. I mean, you can ask what that means, and sure, but good for him, I guess. I do think he'll get to main event at least one WrestleMania. I mean, again, you can ask what that really means, but is there a bigger push Vince can really give you this century that isn't "he's the guy, he's the guy, he's the guy, he's the guy?" His puppets on commentary already point out that he's the best. I dunno, he's doing fine, I bet.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:14 PM   #33
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Why do you feel this way? Can you please elaborate?
He doesn't have the charisma, look or mainstream appeal to be the face of the company. He's a guy who can appeal to people who are already hardcore wrestling fans and that's it. The booking may be shit but even with perfect booking his ceiling is low because of those factors. There are other guys and have been other guys in the company recently who have the tools but are victims of booking. He's not one of them.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:08 AM   #34
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I'd argue yes but more towards him being as a bridge or transitional "Face of the WWE" type mega star. Sort of like what Daniel Bryan could have been for the Reigns era had Vince not been really stubborn and Bryan's body didn't also fall apart at the worst time possible.

Styles' age holds him back too much from having a lengthy Hogan/Cena-like reign as a top star while WWE's booking is the biggest obstacle for him having a potential shorter Austin-like top star reign.

He fits more as a HBK/Bret-like top star where he is the main guy for a couple years and at the same time, WWE is building the foundation for their next mega star era.
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:08 AM   #35
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I just want to acknowledge everyone's contributions to this thread by saying, "great job everyone." It's contributions such as these that make me enjoy visiting these forums.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:03 AM   #36
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You’re welcome, “Luigi”.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:34 AM   #37
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Quote:
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He doesn't have the charisma, look or mainstream appeal to be the face of the company. He's a guy who can appeal to people who are already hardcore wrestling fans and that's it. The booking may be shit but even with perfect booking his ceiling is low because of those factors. There are other guys and have been other guys in the company recently who have the tools but are victims of booking. He's not one of them.
You say that with such assuredness. But many would have argued Steve Austin didn't have the charisma up until the point that he did. You've been conditioned to believe "top guy needs to tick these boxes" but you've never seen anyone given a chance beyond Vince's usual template... other than Steve Austin, really. If they don't tick Vince's boxes, they get a sniff at the top spot, but the second things don't go EXACTLY RIGHT, they're considered flops at the box office. Never mind Roman, Cena, and HHH's constant chances.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:55 AM   #38
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There's something to what Dale is saying. Styles is really fucking good. He might not be the conventional WWE prototype, but if he appeals to people, then he appeals to people. There's definitely something there.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:31 AM   #39
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Sorry guys, #1-wwf-fan has spoken.
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:27 AM   #40
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I think he could have been if he were five years younger, but AJ took a long time to find his groove and settle in a persona. He was constantly changing look, attire and how he was on screen. This current version is extremely marketable and it seems so natural. He is effortlessly "cool" now, while still having a fun personality and being good humored. But he now has a brand and a fixed look. As well as that he has cool gear, great music and a fantastic, exciting moveset.

It has all come too late in his career for him to be the man. Post-40, a bad injury from his style could spell the end. But it's a real pity this all didn't come about earlier. Him and Angle wasting so much time in TNA really sucks. Catch 22 is that he probably wouldn't be like he is now without all his experience that has come before to carry himself the way he does.

He is a throwback to times where different experiences and wrestling in different countries moulded stars and refined personalities. Cookie cutter WWE made stars from NXT lack this.

He is a star, but it's come too late to be THE star imo
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