Some heel turns work. Edge? That worked. Batista? Working great. Hollywood Hogan? Worked like a mother-wrote-my-lyrics.
AJ Styles? Not so much.
For those who haven’t nibbled yet on the TNA bait, Styles was a good guy people genuinely liked. If you’re a WWE fan, think John Morrison with less glitz. Well, apparently the next step was to turn AJ into the next Ric Flair while being managed by, well, Ric Flair. *waits for you to get a couple ‘Wooooooooooo!’s out of your system…it’s OK*
Here’s how Flair apparently decided to (1) pass the torch (2) to young AJ:
For the past 20 years, people have said, ‘Nature Boy, who’s gonna be the next Nature Boy?’ Well, the answer was simple: nobody! Until 6 months ago, I started watching TNA and I saw the great Kurt Angle, the greatest wrestling technician of all time. No.
And then I saw Sting. Sting, wherever you are, you’re great, but you’re not Ric Flair. And then all of a sudden, about a month ago, I saw a young man in the ring who now I’ll be working with until I’m out of this business, and I’m talking about the great AJ ‘Stylin’ and Profile’ Styles. *He* will be the next Ric Flair.
The problem is *only* Ric Flair can be Ric Flair. That has become even more apparent in the month since the Genesis pay-per-view, which has seen AJ Styles absolutely butcher his Ric Flair impression.
For proof of AJ’s newfound douchebaggery, see for yourself (via YouTube):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMnH5nhUUZI&NR=1 (skip to the 4:45 mark for Styles, or stay for the whole Flair rant)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jp5n9CJEpo (much shorter clip, but still valid)
The thing is, though, that Styles and Flair will probably hold the TNA championship for a long time yet. That could mean one of two things — Styles grows into the gimmick and makes it work, or he keeps falling on his face and TNA has to scramble to give this bit a merciful end.
For the next step, watch at 9 tonight on Spike.