The use of AJ Styles’ young daughter at SummerSlam on Aug. 19, 2018 in Brooklyn - in the angle where Samoa Joe is questioning the WWE Champion’s commitment to his family as a way to get a psychological advantage in their feud - has stirred some debate among wrestling fans. It certainly did in the Cageside offices.
AJ’s wife Wendy and three year old daughter Annie were in the crowd at Barclays Center and taunted on two separate occassions by Joe. The finish of their match was a disqualification caused by the champ snapping and attacking his opponent and a WWE employee. Afterwards, a bloodied Styles went into the crowd to talk to his family, and Annie appeared upset and reached for her mother when AJ held her.
This fallout video from WWE probably won’t change any minds about bringing Annie into the program. She is smiling and open to a hug from dad, and this would seem to be the end of her involvement.
Whether any of that is reassuring (if you need that at all), or just makes you more uncomfortable she’s being used at all to promote wrestling matches, is up to individual fans.
“I lost my cool. I’m sorry. That’s not like me. You know I don’t break promises, it won’t happen again.”
From a strictly storytelling perspective, there’s good heat for a rematch between Styles and Joe under the stipulation which gives WWE’s next pay-per-view (PPV) its name - Hell in a Cell.
We’ll see how much AJ’s family is involved in that, if at all.