Actually, AJ Styles Should Win the World Heavyweight Championship (Not Seth Rollins)

AJ Styles WWE Royal Rumble 2016

There has been a lot to dislike about the recent draft, the World Heavyweight Championships return, the Night of Champions Premium Live Event from Saudi Arabia, and WWE broadly. That Seth Rollins and AJ Styles, two of the most talented men on the roster, are fighting for that title on Saturday is not one of them. Seth Rollins is expected to win the new title in what should be an excellent bout. However, if the WHC is returning to be a workhorse title and reviving a stagnant brand, AJ Styles should win the World Heavyweight Championship. Let’s look at a few reasons why AJ Styles is the better choice to hold the belt first. 

Why AJ Styles Should Win the World Heavyweight Championship

Seth Rollins Going Hollywood 

Seth Rollins has been busy recently; it turns out. Social Media went a little wild when news broke that Seth Rollins was filming for a role in Marvel’s upcoming Captain America movie. The impact of that news was on display almost instantly when Seth wasn’t on TV to promote his upcoming title match. Instead, Raw aired prerecorded interviews with Seth Rollins for the two weeks of building the championship match was getting. If this title is a direct constant to Roman Reign’s championship, then it can’t go to somebody looking to do the same thing as Reigns. The Heavyweight Championship’s presence should create a stark difference between itself and the Undisputed Universal Championship, which requires a full-time champion. 

Marvel is a massive entertainment franchise. Even supporting roles can be dragged into multiple movies or shows across several projects. Real fans should want nothing for the best for Seth Rollins. He and Becky Lynch have made it clear that they are interested in roles outside of WWE. According to WWE, the point of this title is to have a champion ready to defend the belt week in and week out. Seth can’t do that if he pursues an acting career. Rollins has even called Roman Reigns out in the build to this match with that exact point. Styles has been in the industry for a long time and hasn’t pursued any outside interests to speak of. Styles will be present; Rollins might not. So it is fairly obvious who the safer bet is to play the “fighting champion” the company has been selling since after WrestleMania. 

Fans Aren’t Buying the Company Line

To focus on Raw after WrestleMania and the weeks after, WWE booked itself into a corner and angered many fans in the process. Triple H and Seth Rollins, in particular, have been touting Roman’s success while taking shots at his part-time status to try and fix it. Each has spent weeks trying to convince fans this new title isn’t a participation trophy but an actual title as good or better than Reign’s straps because it will be a championship for the people. The issue is that people don’t buy any of it. Try as Seth Rollins and Triple H might; the WWE Universe knows that this is, at best, a secondary title. Meanwhile, Styles speaks to the fan’s real perception and is willing to make it work.

AJ Styles told the New York Post in an interview that the new title is secondary. The full quote adds more context, and its message is refreshing. Styles essentially claims that while the title is secondary now, he will outwork everyone, even Roman Reigns, to change that perception. Fans know this is not a real main event title, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get there. While Rollins is trying to sell fans the bag of goods that WWE asks of him, Styles seemingly isn’t. Also, Rollins’ on-screen story is he’s done not being the hand-picked guy, though he was very much portrayed as the future of WWE multiple times. Styles is the opposite. He really was an outsider to WWE that was never meant to be the standard. If that is the story WWE wants to tell, Styles fits the character profile much better than Rollins.

The Returning Styles is a Fresher Option 

Styles appears to be more in tune with the fan’s current mood on the main event scene of WWE and a less well-worn addition to it. Seth Rollins will win another world championship, possibly more than one, given his age and popularity. He has also been a fixture of the main event scene for a long time. That scene has been filled up recently by The Bloodline’s compelling drama, which included Rollins at one point. Part of the reason Seth feels like the inevitable winner is that he’s always been at the top of the card. Seth has fought all of the company’s top stars over the last year. It only hasn’t resulted in a world title because of Roman’s 1,000 days storyline.  

Styles, by comparison, had been moved down to the mid-card before leaving TV after an injury. That means all his matches will feel a little fresher, and his presence back in the main event brings excitement because we have not seen it for such a long time. He can compete with talents like Gunther, Drew McIntyre, and any member of Judgment Day, and it doesn’t feel overdone. Suppose WWE wants to have many challengers right away, and they should help build the title’s prestige. In that case, having a fresh matchup with the champion is the only way to keep fans entertained in the ring. Styles is the better choice for accomplishing that goal. 

If AJ Styles Should Win the World Heavyweight Championship, What’s Next?

If Styles wins the Heavyweight Championship, there will undoubtedly be some issues that need resolving. First and foremost, he needs to move to Raw. That could pose a larger problem if WWE is trying to keep The OC with Styles. One way they could do that is a full trade. He and the OC could be paired with Asuka to trade for Judgment Day and any women from the current Raw roster. That move puts Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair on the same brand, so they can book that match without unifying the belts if Belair loses to Asuka. Also, it gets those belts on the right brands again while giving Raw full-time access to its new champion. Also, WWE could move Styles by himself. The OC can fall under Michin’s leadership to further match the trend of mixed factions started by Rhea Ripley.

Regardless of how it gets done, once WWE figures out the logistics, Styles will be a fresh match for everyone on the Raw roster. His extended absence from TV makes him a blank slate as well. He has played a heel and a face over his career and can be flexible in building the new division. Either man could be the new champion, and Rollins is likely going to win. But AJ Styles should win the World Heavyweight Championship. It would shock the crowd and promote the consistent, high-quality wrestling Rollins has been touting. He has all the same upside and more to help Raw rebuild its brand.

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