Admit It: AJ Styles vs. Roman Reigns Was a Great Match

There were aerial attacks, power moves, submission holds, run-ins, reversed decisions, and a raucous sold-out crowd on the edge of their seats the entire time.

Following his loss to Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 32, AJ Styles won a fatal four-way on Monday Night RAW 24-hours later to become #1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. His match versus champion Roman Reigns was set for WWE Payback on May 1st at Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL.

The skeptics immediately weighed in. Many of those expected Styles to lose, falling to Reigns in a predictable dud.

They were wrong, although not entirely.

Styles was on the receiving end of a 3-count to Reigns, but the journey to that pinfall followed a map of suspense, intrigue, and bell-to-bell excitement. Their Payback clash was the type of main event title match wrestling fans long for.

It succeeded in legitimizing Reigns in a big championship defense by having him best a “Phenomenal” opponent in an exciting, unpredictable, back-and-forth battle with a hard-earned clean finish.

It also educated those still unfamiliar with Styles’ pedigree why his arrival in WWE is such a huge deal, and why he was well-deserving of a championship opportunity despite a loss at Mania.

For a match to work, in order for the suspension of disbelief to captivate, both wrestlers have to contribute to the art of physical storytelling.

Both Styles and Reigns did that.

These men complimented each other. They left the audience wanting more – which they’ll get at WWE Extreme Rules on May 22nd.

Be as skeptical as you want. You’re likely to see another great match regardless.

By Mr. Joe Walker

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