What started off as a Wrestlemania 34 dream match has turned into a bit of a nightmare that won’t go away, and with another month to go before Money in the Bank (MITB), the AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura program has far out-welcomed its stay.

In fact, I question why there is even one more AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura match at MITB. I get the double count-out at the Greatest Royal Rumble (GRR) and low-blow finale at Backlash leaves a little bit of question around a definitive winner; however, AJ Styles defeated Nakamura at Wrestlemania and after last night’s main event between the two, I’m done with this program. Here’s why:

Program Anchor

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The King of Strong Style’s heel turn was a nice swerve in the storyline, and he’s run with playing the bad guy well, but AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura seems to be anchored by one thing: a low blow. I mean, seriously, at one point I questioned just why Nakamura was so obsessed with AJ Styles’ package and he constantly couldn’t stay away from it during promos, interrupting matches, and when they wrestled in tag team action (post-Mania). But on a serious note, the idea that a program is centered around one (cheesy) heel move is eye-rolling at best. There is so much more that this storyline could have dived into: their past history, AJ Styles hitting the WWE first and Nakamura following, Styles bypassing NXT to the main roster … the list goes on and on.

Yet, WWE Creative decided to center AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura with a low blow and continue to place this idea where it affects matches and outcomes. Both these superstars deserve better.


Overall, considering the AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura program has two of the best in-ring talents on the roster today, I feel their matches have lacked luster. Their initial Wrestlemania 34 bout was okay, but I’m not sure if I tuned out a bit because we were nearing the end of a seven-hour pay-per-view, that match was too overly hyped up, or it simply wasn’t all that. Hard to say, but, while I enjoyed the GRR bout, the double count-out ending was lame, and Backlash’s double low blow was eye-rolling at best. Last night’s SmackDown LIVE match was the first of their matches where I truly enjoyed both the bout and its ending.

WWE Creative Not Knowing When It’s Over

Which leads me to my last point about AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. Roy Orbison’s “It’s Over” keeps ringing through my mind right now when it comes to this program.

The WWE Universe has been fed AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura since late January after Nakamura won the 2018 Royal Rumble. While I can appreciate their program leading up to Wrestlemania looks far different than it is now, I truly wish WWE Creative had ended this feud at Backlash. The excitement around AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura is over and has been over since GRR. The idea of these two having another match together at MITB certainly does not excite in the least. It’s time for both superstars to move on.

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