First impressions can sometimes make or break a professional wrestler. For example, a heel wrestling faction that debuts by throwing Molotov cocktails at a power generator is almost certainly doomed.
Luckily for AJ Styles, his memorable debut in WWE as the third entrant of the 2016 Royal Rumble match received a huge ovation from the audience, and remains among the highlights of his WWE career.
Styles’ Phenomenal theme music was a big part of that debut moment. But for years now, there have been some fans who felt like his theme music was an odd fit for the character. There’s a reason for that. While hanging out on his bus with his bodyguard Omos, Styles told WWE’s The Bump that his entrance music was originally intended for James Storm:
“Well they let me in on a little bit of the music and stuff like that, and I dug it. I thought it was a cool deal. The only thing I was worried about when they were calling me a redneck - which I am, I make no excuses, I am a redneck - but I didn’t want people to go, “Oh so he’s a hillbilly,” or something like that, which is totally different than a redneck. I was worried about that a little bit.
But you know what? It was the perfect music for me. And let it be known that that music wasn’t made for me. It was made for someone else. It’s always been mine, you know what I mean? It was made for James Storm. It may have been made for James Storm, but it was written for AJ Styles.”
I’m not sure that I really follow along with AJ’s logic about the song being made for Storm and written for Styles. But I haven’t really listened to music since late 1997 when Beavis and Butt-Head first went off the air, so what the hell do I know? Styles says the music is perfect for him, and that’s really all that matters.
James Storm did have a couple NXT appearances in late 2015, but he ultimately returned to Impact Wrestling by January 2016 because the money was better. That apparently left the door wide open for Styles to come in to WWE later that month and take his entrance music.
As far as Storm’s current relationship with WWE is concerned, it sounds like he was set to debut around WrestleMania 36, but the global pandemic changed those plans.
Do you think the theme music is a better fit for Styles or Storm?