Thursday, June 2, 2016

Raw: AJ Styles Punks John Cena

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Monday's Raw did not do enough for me to deserve the full Raw Review treatment.  That was to be expected as aside from John Cena's return this felt like a "give up" episode of the show as it was dealing with Memorial Day, NBA's Western Conference Final's Game 7, and even the first game of Stanley Cup Finals.

There were two notable segments on this show however and they ended up in completely opposite directions.  One one hand you had an electric showdown between AJ Styles and John Cena which ended with The Club introducing Cena to the "New Era."  On the other hand, you had a showdown that should have been just as solid, but fell completely flat between WWE Champion Roman Reigns (The Guy) and Seth Rollins.  Right here I just want to look at The Club's segment.

Even without the swerve, the AJ Styles and John Cena segment was pure gold.  The Green Bay crowd was way into it as the two faced off.  The only off-putting aspect of it was that same crowd suddenly deciding they needed to "WHAT?!" AJ Styles.  C'mon folks, it's 2016.  That ain't clever anymore.

Anyhow, the arena was electric for this and even the setup of AJ Styles/John Cena v The Club looked like it was going to be a lot of fun.  What we got was even better as AJ punked Cena and reunited with The Club.

The only misgiving I have at all about the turn was the fact that AJ Styles was positioned pretty much as the third biggest face in the company behind John Cena, and Roman Reigns.  Even bigger than that he was almost universally liked as opposed to the mixed reactions both Cena and especially Reigns get.  That said, the chemistry of him with Gallows & Anderson is really solid and something we all wanted to see when he showed up in WWE.

There is a lot of concern that AJ Styles has been mishandled or that he will come out of this John Cena feud the worse for wear as has been the case with other guys.  I certainly don't think he has been mishandled.  Aside from losing to Jericho at Mania and being forced to work with him in the first place, I think he's been handled beautifully.

The Cena thing is a bit more of a concern, but I am not going to assume anything especially when AJ has been treated so well to this point.  I could be wrong, but I think AJ Styles will be fine no matter.  Of all the things to complain about in WWE, I do not understand the fretting about AJ at this point. 

On a Raw that was completely forgettable at best, John Cena, and AJ Styles and The Club gave us one memorable moment.  It is great to see The Phenomenal One continuing to do big things in WWE.