8 New Directions For WWE Champion AJ Styles

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AJ Styles WWE SmackDown

Of all the new paths new WWE Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles may travel, the heel turn detour is narrow at best. WWE's undisputed best in-ring performer just dethroned the most tedious and undeserving top-tier titleholder of the modern era - perhaps ever. Nobody is going to jeer him. People are more likely to offer him their daughters, if it hinders main event Jinder once and for all.

The motivation behind the most uplifting title switch in recent memory - you'd probably have to travel back in time to 2014 to remember this overwhelming high of thank-f*ck-for-that euphoria - is unclear.

Did Vince McMahon suffer a Tokyo Dome-sized panic attack at the prospect of Kenny Omega Vs. Chris Jericho at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12, and settle on the switch as a drastic, apologetic measure? Did the faint threat of genuine competition move him from his throne of self-indulgence? Or, more cynically, is McMahon so behind the Mahal Machine that he feels a loss to Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series is a self-inflicted booby trap blockading his rupee treasure hunt? Little is known at present, other than the King, for now, is dead.

Long live the real king - the potential saviour of SmackDown (please)...

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Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!