WWE: AJ Styles Heel Turn, Club Reunion Has Promise
If you’ve been watching WWE television as of late, you’ve noticed that the product has steadily improved since WWE’s Super ShowDown took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Part of the appeal has been storyline building that’s felt fresh and more consistent than WWE has presented in the past. Another part of it has been solid performances in the ring from stars and mid-card talent alike.
This isn’t to say that the product has been perfect, but to not acknowledge the improvements as they’re presented would be dishonest.
While WWE’s product may have improved in recent weeks, it took a significant step forward Monday night in the first show under Paul Heyman’s watch. It’s no surprise that Heyman took what was given to him and turned it into gold with a combination of subtle and not-so-subtle aspects that felt familiar but new all at the same time.
One of these fresh turns was AJ Styles completing his heel turn and attacking Ricochet while re-uniting The Club in the process.
Styles and The Club had been seen on television for a few weeks leading up to this culmination on Raw, but Heyman executed it to perfection in a way that almost easy to forget how obscure both Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson had been in recent years since originally being separated from Styles.
Still, it’s impossible to ignore how poorly Gallows and Anderson were used. Once a top tag team in the biggest faction on the planet, The Good Brothers weren’t even used as jobbers on WWE television. Instead, they were relatively invisible and not used whatsoever outside of small fodder pieces in matches and segments that had nothing to do with them.
Styles Treading Water Since Jump to Raw
Styles, on the other hand, went on one of the best World Title reigns in recent memory on SmackDown Live before eventually making the jump to Raw and continuing his successful run by facing off against Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship.
Unfortunately, Styles was used less frequently following that brief feud and it was clear that he was treading water as the writing team figured out what to do with him next.
That next step came Monday when WWE finally reunited The Club and made Styles a heel.
While Styles may be an effective babyface who also happens to be immensely popular with the fans, he’s just as good in a heel role and has proven as much alongside The Club in the past. This opportunity will give Styles a chance to put on matches against some of the best face superstars on the roster while simultaneously bringing The Club back to the forefront of the discussion.
Styles and The Club Felt Legitimate on Raw
It may seem like it’s too early to call this turn and reunion a success, but the fact that all three superstars, once huge acquisitions from New Japan Pro Wrestling, felt larger than life on Raw.
There’s room for comedic moments and there’s room for less-serious antics. For now, though, Styles, Gallows and Anderson appear to be taking a different route this time around. Styles was a bonafide heel with a mean-streak on SmackDown Live. The way he stood tall alongside his brothers on Raw was more indicative of that AJ Styles than the one who incorporated humor into the routine alongside Gallows and Anderson.
Only time will tell if this new-found attitude will be capitalized on by Heyman and the writing team, but it feels safe to be optimistic about future prospects. Especially when Heyman is such a prolific genius in the world of professional wrestling.
For that reason alone, this reunion just feels like it has so much promise.