Why We Should Be Excited For AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon At Wrestlemania 33
Are wrestling fans dismissing what could be an epic McMahon encounter at Wrestlemania?
The McMahon family are well known for their contributions to the world of Professional Wrestling. In fact, for decades the McMahon name has been synonymous with Professional Wrestling. This year, at Wrestlemania 33, there is a match on the card that will see Shane McMahon take on the Phenomenal AJ Styles and opinion regarding this match is very divided right now. Many fans feel a match against Shane McMahon is below someone of the talent of AJ Styles. While it is easy to make these claims, one has to look back on the history of the WWE and Wrestlemania to realize that this match really is not below AJ Styles at all.
The Attitude Era of WWE is considered by most to be the best era for the WWE and for Professional Wrestling in general, an era of which all other eras are compared against. It is almost an unfair comparison when you truly think about it. Performances today are more about in ring class and style. While a return to the smash mouth style of the Attitude Era sounds great to most, all you have to do is see the writing on the wall to realize WWE are trying to give us die hard fans as much of what we want to see as possible while not alienating the family aspect of the show at the same time. The build and storyline continuity of the AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon match is far better than what we see with a lot of matches we typically get at Wrestlemania.
The fans who are upset about the booking of this match on Wrestlemania should really look back on their cherished Attitude Era. They should realize that we all were excited when we saw Vince McMahon step in to a Wrestlemania ring. Whether it be continued moments from his legendary feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, when he fought Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania X7, taking on Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania 19, against HBK Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 22, or his storied real life feud turned in ring battle with Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 26. The McMahon family and their involvement at Wrestlemania should be taken as what it is, a time for a spectacle where some of our favourite WWE Superstars get the opportunity to tear apart a McMahon family member in the middle of the ring.
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Shane McMahon may be getting up there in age, but we know at some point during his match at Wrestlemania 33 we are going to get some form of death defying stunt from the Smackdown Live Commissioner. The writing’s on the wall, and for any of us who watched Smackdown Live on March 21st 2017,we saw just a small tease of what is to come when Shane took the fight right to AJ Styles. The night ended when Shane McMahon put AJ Styles on the announce table, and then leaped from the top turnbuckle and dropped an elbow down through AJ Styles. This was just what the WWE are giving us fans for free on regular television, so one has to wonder exactly what Shane McMahon has in store for us come Wrestlemania 33.
As fans we should also not downplay the abilities of AJ Styles either. The man can carry a match with anybody. That has not only been proven time and time again in his career, but just listen to any Wrestler AJ has worked with either in his time on the indie scene, NJPW, or TNA (Now Impact Wrestling). There is not a soul in the business today that would not tell you AJ Styles is quite possibly the greatest of our generation and possibly one of the greatest performers of all time. AJ Styles has been able to carry out five star performances with everyone he has locked up with, and this leads me to believe that the same is going to happen at Wrestlemania 33 this year as well.
Fans around the world were holding out hope that AJ Styles would get a high profile match with the likes of Nakamura or Kurt Angle this year at Wrestlemania. Unfortunately the timing and story build were just not there. Without that build the spectacle that is Wrestlemania tends to fall a little bit flat in the end. Aj Styles vs Shane McMahon has been well built up and in recent weeks has escalated in to something very reminiscent of the Attitude Era feuds Vince McMahon himself would get involved with. Saying a match against Shane McMahon is below someone the likes of AJ Styles would be like us saying matches against Vince McMahon were below the likes of such legends as HBK, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, and Bret Hart. In my opinion this is the WWE’s way of putting a stamp on the storied career of AJ Styles, and saying he is now walking the same path as some of the greatest names in the history of Professional Wrestling.
While it is clear WWE is not going to give us high quality 45 minute matches like NJPW do with Wrestle Kingdom, we as fans have to appreciate the large scale of what WWE have to produce. Wrestlemania is a show watched worldwide by us hardcore fans, but also the casual fans as well. Wrestlemania is the event that unites fans from all walks of life for one night, and so matches are geared towards giving us all something to be excited about. AJ Styles will carry out a great match with Shane McMahon and we know that Shane will not hesitate to put his body on the line to deliver an iconic Wrestlemania moment. Age and in ring style aside, this match is going to have many talking points and should hold its own in what is otherwise a fairly stacked card for this year’s Wrestlemania.