So if you're one of the people upset that AJ Styles is apparently heading for a WrestleMania program with the boss's son instead of fighting for the World Championship, you've got at least one high-profile WWE employee on your side.
Apparently, Corey Graves isn't too keen on the idea, and he said so last night.
After Raw, on WWE Network's Pardon-The-Interruption-style show "Bring It To The Table", conversation turned to the anticipated showdown at WrestleMania between AJ Styles and Shane McMahon.
The two got into it last week after Styles lost his #1 Contender's match to Randy Orton. WWE released a video of the alercation, which you can watch above.
Host Peter Rosenberg asked the panelists, Graves and SmackDown color commentator JBL, to give their thoughts on a potential match between Styles and Shane-O Mac.
"I love it," JBL said. "You've got one of the greatest characters ever in Shane McMahon, along with one of the greatest wrestlers of all time in AJ Styles."
JBL went so far as to call Styles a modern-day HBK, comparing The Phenomenal One favorably to Shawn Michaels. On this point, Graves agreed, but this was the precise reason he stated for why AJ shouldn't have a match with Shane.
“The prospect of AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon does absolutely nothing for me; I’m a fan of what Shane McMahon brings as a character to the show, he’s paid his dues, he’s been around the business his entire life." Graves said, continuing on to opine that Shane's most memorable moments are when he's put his body on the line, performing dangerous stunts and maneuvers to get a pop from the crowd. He's a performer. In contrast, Graves thinks AJ Styles is an ARTIST.
"Styles can give you a full cinematic experience in the ring in the veil of the ‘Hell In A Cell’ between Triple H and The Undertaker or anything Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker have done at WrestleMania. Those caliber of matches that from start to finish are art in its highest form.”
Graves said that he doesn't believe that Shane can keep up with AJ, implying that the match quality will suffer.
JBL allowed that Shane probably can't keep up with AJ, but, he said, there are only two or three people in the world who actually can.
Shane McMahon is due to confront AJ Styles on tonight's episode of SmackDown and there is speculation we might get a formal announcement of their Mania match at that time. Fightful will have full, live coverage and a post show podcast.
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