AJ Styles looks to bag his first win on the grandest stage when the Phenomenal One takes on Smackdown commissioner Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 33.
It was a ‘Phenomenal’ 2016 for AJ Styles, but things this year have not gone quite the way the former WWE Champion would have hoped for and he looks to take out his frustrations Shane O’Mac.
Styles made his much-anticipated debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble and after impressing in his rivalries against Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns, his hard work would begin to pay off.
His victories over the leader of the Cenation earned him a shot at WWE Champion Dean Ambrose and less than seven months after his debut, Styles defeated the Lunatic Fringe at Backlash to win his first WWE Championship.
Styles would rule to the roost on Smackdown through to the New Year, after finally settling the score against Dean Ambrose in an amazing Tables, Ladders and Chairs match at TLC in early December.
Cena would return to WWE in late December with revenge in mind against Styles and at the third time of trying, he defeated the 2016 Superstar of the year at the Royal Rumble to become a 16-time world champion.
That is where things began to fall apart for Styles as his quest to regain the championship was thwarted by Bray Wyatt inside the Elimination Chamber a few weeks later, as Styles unsuccessfully lobbied to get his one-on-one championship rematch.
When Randy Orton initially waived his opportunity to challenge Bray Wyatt for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, Styles had the chance to book his spot in the main event by winning a No. 1 Contender’s Battle Royal.
However, it would end in controversy when Styles and Harper went over the top rope at the same time but a week later on Smackdown, Styles would defeat Harper in singles action to book a title shot against Wyatt, or so he thought he did.
When Randy Orton decided to turn his back on Wyatt, he wanted back into the title picture and the Viper beat Styles on the 7 March episode of Samckdown to take the Phenomenal One’s opportunity away from him.
An unhappy Styles confronted commissioner Shane McMahon after the show and he continued to rant the next week on Smackdown fuming that he never got his one-on-one rematch for the WWE Championship
Styles believes he put Smackdown on the map and that the show would be would nothing without him. He was frustrated that the best superstar on the roster does not have a match at WrestleMania and wanted answers from the Smackdown bosses.
The Phenomenal One went to the parking lot waiting for McMahon’s arrival to talk about the issue, but instead Styles attacked Shane O’Mac and hurled him face first through a car window.
A furious Daniel Bryan would not let Styles get away with it and fired Styles on the spot. However, Shane had other ideas as he dragged his bruised body out to the arena and announced that if Styles wants a fight at WrestleMania, he’s got it.
On the 21 March edition of Smackdown, a reinstated Styles said he was sorry for nothing he did the previous week. He accepted Shane’s challenge to a match at WrestleMania and predicted things will only get worse for the general manager in Orlando.
Later in the night, Shane O’Mac came out and told Styles that they could have sorted this out man to man, which forced Styles to come out admitting he made a mistake and offered his apologies to the commissioner.
Shane obviously felt his apology was not sincere and took the fight to the former WWE Champion. Shane left Styles reeling hit after he hit him with a diving elbow drop through the announcers desk.
The two men would come face-to-face on the final Smackdown before WrestleMania to sign the contract for their match, as Shane told Styles it was his arrogance that cost him the WWE Championship shot.
Shane told Styles he will need to bring his A-game to WrestleMania because he believes he can upset the Phenomenal One. An amused Styles reminded him this is a wrestling match and that he does not stand a chance against him.
This is another match I was not keen on the idea as I believe AJ Styles deserved better for WrestleMania 33, after his incredible debut year in the WWE. I am not convinced that this will be a great match.
Shane McMahon is clearly not a wrestler and although he has a big heart and will do anything to entertain the fans, it would be an absolute shambles if the commissioner of Smackdown defeats Styles.
It seems a no brainer that Styles will come out on top but the question everyone is asking is, what crazy thing will Shane O’Mac do next? With the big rollercoaster stage they have constructed inside the stadium, Shane coming off that onto Styles would be a good bet.
It has been a decent but short build up for this one. While I don’t expect this to be the greatest match on the card, their rivalry has been built really well, even though it only had a couple of weeks to do so.
There is no doubt in my mind that Styles will be celebrating his first WrestleMania victory at “The Ultimate Thrill Ride” and I expect to see him back in the WWE Championship picture very soon.
Winner: AJ Styles