A Clash Of Styles: What Will A.J. Do Next?

Styles reflecting on Impact
Written by @Robbie_G_CH
Photos by Impact Wrestling 

At the Turning Point PPV, A.J. Styles lost the number one contenders triple threat match, falling prey to James Storm's 'Last Call Superkick', in usual situations this would be just a small bump in the road as another chance would usually come up in the coming weeks or months, or as Bobby Roode found the next TV taping, but for A.J., thanks to a stipulation in the match, he has to wait until at least Bound For Glory XI for his next shot at the championship, the question now is what will the Phenomenal One do until he can challenge again?

Dwelling On The Past

On Impact A.J. addressed the situation he finds himself in and how it reflects the year he has had referring to the issues he has had with Daniels, Kazarian and Claire Lynch. After being interrupted and berated by the former 'World Tag Team Champions of the World', Daniels and A.J. agreed to face each other for 'one last time', many people will be thinking that this match has been played out, and they would have a fair argument as I have lost count at how many times these two have locked up over the last 18 months, but besides a few tag matches with Kurt Angle, A.J. never got the closuer on the chapter with Daniels regarding the Lynch issues, and in all honesty who wouldn't want to see these two lock up for 'one last time'? 

Road To Redemption?

With Styles being portrayed at a major low point in his career and outcast from the title picture for 11 months the similarities can be drawn with Jeff Hardy's redemption storyline; returning from a major low point, proving himself to his peers, and then going on to win the BFG series and the World Heavyweight Championship; once A.J. has finished his business with Daniels who in this case signify the 'demons of the past' but unlike Hardy who managed to stay around the main event scene, he will need to go a different route to get back to the top. 

There are two possible routes that he could take over the next few months until his likely participation in the BFG series, the first would be to go back to his roots in the X Division whilst the second would be to guarantee TV airtime by competing for the TV Title. Both options would mean dropping down the roster but often in wrestling to gain the top spot you need to work your way up from the bottom. 

Ultimate X

It is no doubt that A.J. is most known for his time in the X Division and what a better place for him to rediscover himself than where he began. Since winning the title RVD has done very little in way of elevating the division besides the odd match and I would be surprised if he reign as champion and his run in TNA lasts much longer. Being a former champion brings a certain credibility and if anybody is to get an entertaining match out of RVD then it would be Styles. 

High Flying is Styles Speciality
Like the Knockouts division (but executed better as to not happen month in month out), the X Division needs a match or tournament to establish the players, A.J could enter this tournament and come up short in the final to allow someone like Joey Ryan to get another shot and further add to Styles' woes whilst giving the rub to newer members of the roster, in the following month he could then become number one contender and defeat RVD, depending on what the situation is with Van Dam's contract (remember last year when Gunner put him out around January) they could have a rematch with the title on the line and a stipulation of the loser leaves TNA.
Over the next few months Styles could defend the title whilst using his experience to elevate the likes of Joey Ryan, Zema Ion, Kenny King and even Jesse Sorensen once he returns from injury, before dropping the title in the lead up to or at  Slammiversary to someone who will be looking for a short cut to the Heavyweight Championship whilst P1 enters the BFG Series looking to headline Bound For Glory. 

The Face of Impact Wrestling

The second option would be to follow in Samoa Joe's footsteps and secure a spot on TV every week and go after the TV Title. Like the X Division this is an area in much need of competition, especially since Magnus, whom has been pushed to match Joe, will likely be off air until the UK shows following his beat down at the hands of Aces & Eights (and his appearances in panto).
A.J. and Joe are no strangers to one another and a feud over TNA's second belt could boost both competitors and the image of the belt, throw a returning Magnus into the mix and the TV title could become hot property over the opening months of 2013.

Bound For Glory

The fact that the stipulation states that Bound for Glory is the the first opportunity to get a shot at the silverware suggests that Styles will be victorious in the BFG series and get his shot at the biggest stage, but this year everybody had James Storm as a dead cert to win and we all saw how that played out.

It is doubtful that TNA would book the same outcome to the same story, it is more likely that Styles will come up short in the finals of the BFG Series; hopefully to Bully Ray who has been the losing finalist in both the tournaments so far; and then go on to become number one contender in the following months, maybe even not until one of the bigger events in 2014.

What ever path Styles takes it will lead back to the top, it may even be for the final time in his career, but it seems safe to say that when that shot does come, A.J. will be the new Heavyweight Champion.  


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