AJ Styles When Roman Reigns was left in the ring with Shinsuke Nakamura in this year’s Royal Rumble pay per view, many thought that the slayer of the Phenom would obviously win. However, they were shocked and exhilarated when the Artist Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated the Big Dog. The stadium exploded with amazement and chants of Nakamura. That gave him a slot to headline WrestleMania 34 becoming the second person after Asuka, the winner of the first-ever women’s WWE Royal Rumble match.
Nakamura had a chance to pick between the Beast or the Phenomenal One, and being from Smackdown roster, the obvious choice would seem to be AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura, and it was. While fans were still speculating whether at WrestleMania 34 it would be Style clash, Calf Crusher, or Springboard elbow that would give AJ the win, he had a mountain to climb. While the only thing that stood between Shinsuke Nakamura and WWE championship was one Kinshasa to the face of the Phenomenal One, AJ Styles had to go through other 5 challengers in a 6 man match at Fastlane pay per view to make sure that at WrestleMania it would be AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura.
The match would become interesting when John Cena, a free agent of WWE won a match on SmackDown against the same AJ guaranteeing him a chance be included in the Fastlane match. As John Cena had been eliminated in the previous RAW Elimination Chamber match pay per view killing his dream to headline WrestleMania through RAW, he decided to head to Smackdown. His performance against AJ on SmackDown was exceptional and many thought perhaps he might win and meet Nakamura.
Nonetheless, WWE fans were not liking the odds and started to boo at the possibility of Cena becoming 17 times World Champion breaking a record that he holds together with Rick Flair, the father to the Queen, Charlotte Flair; WWE SmackDown women’s champion. The Fastlane fatal 6 man championship match began with Cena AA everyone except AJ. At some point Cena had control and as he was about to win, he came shot and the obvious winner would have been either Kevin Owens who delivered his powerbomb to Ziggler or Sami Zayn who delivered bigfoot to Owens.
However, the commissioner of Smackdown would interfere during the pin downs and pull the referee while Owens covered Ziggler and Sami when he covered Owens, respectively costing them the opportunity to meet Nakamura at WrestleMania 34. This gave AJ time to recover from being AA on announcer table and deliver his Spring Board Elbow finisher on Owens winning a match that was competitive and cementing himself as the WrestleMania 34’s opponent to Nakamura. After that match, it was official that it will be AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura.
Nakamura and AJ Styles have never featured in any WrestleMania event, and it would be unlikely to think that AJ would lose to Nakamura having waited for 15 years to join WWE. That does not mean that Nakamura will lose, 70% of Rumble winners have gone ahead to win their WrestleMania matches and become champions just like Randy, Triple H, Cena, Batista, Austin, and Undertaker among others. When you look into the odds of Nakamura winning, they are neither slim.
Each of these two superstars is unique with incredible agility, resilience, and deadly finishers capable of knocking out their opponents for more than three seconds which is long enough to pin and cover your opponent for a win. Whether the Artist or the Phenomenal One wins, this match will be entertaining, worth remembering, and headlining WrestleMania 34. Who will win between AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura, you guess is as good as mine.