For Seth Rollins, winning the World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions puts him at the top of the food chain on Monday Night Raw. For AJ Styles, becoming World Champion under the Jeddah sky in Saudi Arabia will be a reemergence of “The Phenomenal One.”
Seth “Freakin” Rollins defeated The Miz and Shinsuke Nakamura in a Triple Threat Match, followed by besting Finn Balor to win his half of the bracket. Rollins’ resume boasts six world title reigns in WWE, NXT, and ROH.
AJ Styles beat Edge and Rey Mysterio in a Triple Threat Match on SmackDown and punched his ticket to the finals by pinning Bobby Lashley. Nine world championships, including WWE, TNA, and NJPW, highlight Styles’ career accomplishments.
WWE has a question to answer with their big title match this Saturday at Night of Champions. What is the better story to tell? Cementing Rollins as the star of the show or heating up Styles once more.
Roman Reigns’s dominion over the Undisputed Universal Championship prompted WWE to announce the implementation of the World Heavyweight Title, which will continue the lineage established in 2002 with Triple H.
The disappointment of Cody Rhodes not beating Roman Reigns for the title at WrestleMania still sticks in the craw of fans. Enter Seth Rollins, who’s been highlighted as the favorite to win the title from the moment it was announced. In fact, Rollins’ is the only wrestler presented as the potential title holder. Outside of an awesome promo from Edge on social media, everyone else has been closed-lipped about it on television.
Raw’s new prize appears tailored for Rollins instead of SmackDown’s AJ Styles, who wasn’t even in the discussion as a favorite to win his half of the tournament. It’s Rollins who’s had the special interview segments, while Styles, outside of being a guest on the Waller Effect, hasn’t been positioned as a world title contender.
It feels as if Rollins is already the champion, and Styles is a create-a-character wrestler filling a spot. With his 46th birthday next week, this match could be Styles’ last chance at a world title run. Outside of a trade, a loss for Styles makes him a rank-and-file member of the blue brand, and he’s not beating Roman Reigns.
Night of Champions presents WWE with an opportunity to make up for the sins of WrestleMania 39. The booking has all but shouted to the heavens Rollins is going to win. Perhaps that is the plan. Or, maybe it’s a red herring for a Styles upset. Odds are Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles will a great match regardless of the end result.
Despite rumors of a budding movie career hurting Rollins’ chances of walking out with the belt, ultimately, it’s all just noise. WWE has proven that nothing will stop them from doing what they want, even if Rollins is M.I.A., which defeats the purpose of the world title’s inclusion.
No one would complain if AJ Styles became the new World Heavyweight Champion. He is one of the best ever to do it and is returning from a broken ankle. However, Seth Rollins is over like rover, and has been presented on television accordingly.
Establishing the new World Championship as an important accomplishment right out of the gate is paramount. Right now, Seth Rollins is the best wrestler for such a role and will serve the audience well with some great title defenses throughout the summer.
Prediction: Seth Rollins over AJ Styles to become the World Heavyweight Champion.