At SummerSlam, the WWE Universe will find out if John Cena is still the “Face that Runs the Place” or if AJ Styles is the new franchise of SmackDown Live.
In a rematch from their instant classic at WWE Money in the Bank, the Cenation leader will battle The Phenomenal One on Sunday, Aug. 21, live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Styles won that first encounter, a dream match some 15 years in the making, but only after Club allies Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson interfered.
Despite the underhanded way in which he attained victory, Styles has not let Cena forget the loss since. The Phenomenal One even insists that Cena’s time atop the WWE mountain is fading. The 15-time World Champion, on the other hand, is not eager to relinquish his hard-earned status, especially to Styles, whose pivotal win is clouded by Gallows & Anderson’s involvement.
Cena and Styles’ first showdown exceeded the considerable hype surrounding it, and there’s little reason to believe the SummerSlam rematch will be any different. What has changed since WWE Money in the Bank, however, is that The Club is no longer a unified force, divided by the Brand Extension Draft. Now that he’s going it alone on SmackDown Live, it remains to be seen what Styles will have in store when he faces the most dependable big-fight Superstar in modern history.
Will The Biggest Event of the Summer yield the new face of SmackDown Live? Or will Styles’ objective of becoming the blue brand’s franchise player be given an Attitude Adjustment?