During an interview with BT Sport’s Ariel Helwani, AJ Styles was asked about the circumstances behind his memorable WWE debut at Royal Rumble 2016. Styles admitted he wasn’t sure how much planning went into it, and he even heard that Vince McMahon didn’t think much of him. Here is the transcript of his response, courtesy of Wrestling Inc:
“I don’t know that they planned anything. I think it was a bit like, ‘hey, you know what, we need something different for the Rumble. You wanna throw AJ? Ahh, I don’t wanna throw him in.’ You know, I think there was a big discussion when I’d even go out because I don’t think Vince believed that anyone would know who I was. From what I’m hearing, or heard, that he saw nothing great about AJ Styles. Even after the pop at the Rumble, I wasn’t even going to be on the RAW the next day.”
The Phenomenal One ranks among the greatest pro-wrestlers of all-time, so if it’s true that McMahon saw nothing great in AJ and wasn’t originally planning to book him on Raw the next night, it’s a damning indictment on McMahon’s ability to evaluate talent.
AJ goes on to emphasize that Vince must see him as a top star now because he pays him like one. Styles is also a multiple time WWE champion and has been featured in high profile spots at WrestleMania against the likes of Undertaker and Shane McMahon. So yeah, it didn’t take long for Styles to prove to Vince that he’s a great
pro wrestler sports entertainer.
Later in the interview, Styles reiterates how much he wants to fight Edge, but the window is closing on that match so it needs to happen sooner rather than later. I guess we’ll find out in the coming months if Vince McMahon sees nothing great in that match.
Do you hope to see AJ Styles vs. Edge at WrestleMania 38, Cagesiders?