A little time off seems to have done AJ Styles some good. In his first match back after a brief injury, The Phenomenal One knocked off the red-hot, freshly-crowned United States Champion, Ricochet, in a match that was so highly anticipated and competitive that Styles actually stopped when Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson threatened to interfere and wouldn’t restart until they left.
The Good Brothers obeyed and the action began, but for all Ricochet threw at Styles — and he threw a lot, including many maneuvers that defy physical description and mental comprehension — The Phenomenal One was simply too stubborn to lose. Styles dodged Ricochet’s home-run swing of a 630 and blasted his foe with a hard right, setting up a match-ending Phenomenal Forearm. Styles, ever gracious, raised Ricochet’s hand in respect after the match; left unspoken was the fact that this win may well put AJ in line for a title opportunity sooner rather than later. The champion would do well to be ready for that, as he’s used to standing higher than everybody else; if nothing else, Raw showed that he won’t get any rest at the peak before someone shows up to shove him off.