Styles recently made the move as part of the Intercontinental Championship tournament. AJ would defeat Shinsuke Nakamura in the first round, moving on to face Elias on tonight’s broadcast.
This was AJ Styles’ official return to the SmackDown brand, after he was synonymous with the brand following the July 2016 WWE Draft. ‘The Face That Runs The Place’ and ‘The Champ That Runs The Camp’ is now back to dominating on the blue brand, and Mark Henry believes that SmackDown needed the veteran presence of Styles on Friday nights.
“It’s not the same SmackDown, but it’s a more youthful SmackDown” Henry began, discussing how Styles coming back to SmackDown is an ideal move for both WWE and Styles. “And it [SmackDown] needs veteran leadership. And he’s a guarantee, and he’s a guy that could come in and no matter where you put him? He is gonna…he’s gonna make it a success.”
Mark Henry would then discuss the importance of Styles on WWE programming over the past few years, saying how he helped to enhance other talents on both RAW and SmackDown .”You look at the most relevant that Ricochet was? Ricochet got to get in there with AJ Styles and put it an edge on Ricochet. Who’s gonna be next? Who’s the one over there that is gonna get the rub from AJ?”
Although it is a very different landscape on SmackDown, Styles is set to once again head the top of the card along with the likes of Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt. Following the releases of Gallows and Anderson, Styles needed to have a change of pace for his character, and this might be what was needed for the Phenomenal One.
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Busted Open Radio can be heard on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation (Channel 156), Monday through Saturday from 9 am to Noon eastern.