AJ Styles gets a high profile singles match at WrestleMania each year. The list of opponents he has wrestled on the big stage includes Chris Jericho, Shane McMahon, Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, and the Undertaker.
But this year’s event was a different story. With seemingly no opponent at that level available to wrestle Styles, WWE moved him into a tag match against the best tag team on the roster, the New Day. The match turned out to be a showcase for Omos’ in-ring debut as Styles’ partner.
AJ Styles made it known that he wanted to wrestle against Triple H at WrestleMania 37. Earlier this month, Triple H confirmed that Styles did approach him for the match, but he just couldn’t squeeze it into his busy schedule. Here’s how Triple H explained the situation to the media:
“He pestered with me every time I saw him. Yeah, he would ask me about it and asked me about my schedule...I’ve said this before. Getting ready for WrestleMania is a different thing, and the older you get, the harder it gets. Doing this once a year, once every couple of years, especially now, is not an easy task. You try to stay in the best shape you can, but that’s not WrestleMania shape, and it’s a different thing. So when he very first came to me, I said, man, AJ, I’m not gonna tell you no. To be honest with you, personally, I’d love to work with you, and at this point, you can carry me to something. So, I’d love it. And so the personal side of it, the athlete side of it, the performer side of it would love nothing more.
The reality of it is, I [don’t] have the bandwidth or the availability schedule-wise to be able to pull that off, and then he would come to me like every week or every other week when I would see him and say, ‘How’s that bandwidth coming? You gonna be able to make this happen?’ And I would say, ‘It’s not gonna happen.’ Of course I’m flattered by that. And I really am, and humbled by it. But I wish I had the bandwidth to do it, and I’m not saying I won’t do it in the coming year if it’s right and everybody believes that it’s what should be done. I’m at a point where to me, the in-ring stuff is bonus.”
Triple H was then asked about a potential retirement match. That also sounds like a bonus that isn’t guaranteed to happen:
“There’s a part of me that wants to do it, and there’s just a part of me, and it’s a bigger part right now that just goes, man, I am so busy 24/7 that to try to even contemplate having to train in the way I would want to train and get in shape...and by in shape, I don’t mean look, I mean in shape ring-wise so you don’t embarrass yourself when you get in there at 52 [years old]. It’s a lot of work...I’m not afraid of the work. If I could make more hours in the day, I could find time to do it. It’s just the time, you know?”
Triple H is a super busy guy who doesn’t have the bandwidth right now to get in proper shape for one huge match a year. But I’m sure when it’s time to pack a stadium full of WWE fans again, Vince McMahon will upgrade his data plan.
Are you disappointed that we didn’t get to see Triple H vs. AJ Styles at WrestleMania 37?