SmackDown Live on Christmas ended with AJ Styles flooring Vince McMahon with a ruthless forearm.
The backstage segment was an interesting way to call the holidays as the IWC immediately began speculating what’s next for the former WWE Champion and Mr. McMahon.
On the PW Torch SmackDown Live recap, Wade Keller revealed the possible reason why The Phenomenal One attacked The Chairman.
Although it was Mr. McMahon who actually asked for it having provoked and slapped Styles, it appears that the knock-down was an indication that P1 is upgrading his persona ‘to bring out a more aggressive version’ of himself.
“I guess Vince is trying to bring out a more aggressive version of Styles and give him a bit of a McMahon rub, we’ll have to see where this goes. I guess Vince thinks he can have kind of the Midas touch getting AJ to the next level because AJ has been too nice lately.”
“This is just another Ruthless Aggression speech from fifteen years ago and the ‘Puke thing’ (‘He’s gonna puke, he’s gonna puke”) [from Beyond The Mat]. It’s just this window into this odd Vince McMahon personality, but it’s just strange watching Vince do it where it just feels brittle and weird, I don’t know.” – he said via Ringside News
While most fans are seeing the segment as a heel turn for Styles, it remains to be seen whether or not a more aggressive persona necessarily means ‘villain AJ’ given SmackDown Live is already stacked with enough top-level heels and adding the former WWE Champion to that list wouldn’t be a wise idea.
This isn’t the first time that Styles laid his hands on a McMahon. In March 2017, The Phenomenal One attacked Shane McMahon in the parking area and drove the then-SmackDown Live Commissioner through a car window.