WWE’s Top 5 Rivalries Of 2018: #4 – Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles


The importance of a strong rivalry is immeasurable in the WWE. Sure, the matches and the characters and the pageantry are all each uniquely entertaining. But, the one thing that ties them all together is the story. What is a hero without a villain? What is drama without conflict? If the stakes are personal, doesn’t it just mean more? With that sentiment in mind, we’re taking a look at the some of the best rivalries in the WWE this year. 

#4 – Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles

I may catch some flack for this one, but I actually loved the program between Samoa Joe and AJ Styles that began, in earnest, back in the late summer. Sure, it wasn’t anything new for the folks that had watched them work together back in TNA. But, there was still something almost surreal feeling about watching these two go at it with the WWE Championship on the line.

Joe brought Styles’ family into the mix and made this rivalry one that was ultra personal. Calling it personal is probably an understatement, actually. This feud did include a promo during which Joe told Styles’ children that he would be their new daddy. Savage.

All of their matches were solid contests, but I don’t think they ever put together that real ‘Match of the Year’ contender that everyone anticipated when they first started feuding. Their bout at Summerslam is the highest rated of their matches in my ‘best of 2018’ notes, and it’s the one that immediately came to mind when I thought about these two.

They met four more times on pay-per-view in matches that included a no DQ stipulation and one that took place inside the confines of the steel cage. All were solid, but none were the caliber of which fans expected – that’s why I feel like I’m probably rating this program higher than others would. But, what can I say? I’m a sucker for the personal, family stuff. These guys have shifted gears since the program. Styles is feuding with new WWE Champion Daniel Bryan and Joe is….somewhere.

Further reading: I really thought 2018 should have been Samoa Joe’s year. AJ Styles has had quite the journey to capturing the WWE Championship.

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Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Alabama Crimson Tide football, the WWE, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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