On paper, this is an exciting and unpredictable match. It’s a perfect era vs. era vs. era struggle that encapsulates WWE’s identity crisis. In reality, however, the result seems all but assured. AJ Styles will be retaining the WWE World Championship because that is the only result that makes any sort of narrative or business sense.
AJ Styles vs. Undertaker match has been the center of rumors in the past week. But according to the Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, it is just a rumor. Fans will not see that match and at Royal Rumble, there will be a fight between AJ Styles and John Cena. It is interesting to note that recently AJ Styles had said that he is ready to fight the Undertaker if WWE Universe wished to see that match.
There also have been speculations that Braun Strowman of Raw will win the Royal Rumble. The Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman match will see the latter winning the title. However, this seems a bit far fetched at this point.
With many top SmackDown superstars like Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton locked into other storylines, not to mention the absence of The Undertaker, Cena is basically the only realistic option left for Styles’ next feud and is one of the best choices anyway. Styles have been built up as Cena’s most unbeatable foe, so when you combine that story with Cena’s quest to win his 16th World title, it’s really the perfect choice for SmackDown’s title match at The Royal Rumble.
Dolph Ziggler will challenge Styles for the WWE Championship the same night that Cena returns, but in all likelihood, that’s just a match designed to get Styles a win and serve as a placeholder TV feud until Cena is back.