2016 was a huge year for Chris Jericho, and it was also a huge year for AJ Styles. AJ officially joined the WWE roster at the Royal Rumble, and he went on to feud with Chris Jericho for several months, and their feud culminated with a match at WrestleMania 32.
Before AJ Styles joined WWE, there was a lot of controversy surrounding his finisher, the Styles Clash, due to some injuries that occurred while he was wrestling elsewhere.
The move was originally banned in WWE, however, Chris Jericho made it his personal mission to get the move unbanned. In order to get the move unbanned he had to get approval from Vince McMahon, and he recently told Inside The Ropes how he did it.
“When AJ first came into the WWE Vince did not know him from a hole in the ground,” Jericho said via ProWrestling.com. “And obviously, I knew AJ Styles, I had never touched him, had never been in the ring with him. Ever. But I obviously knew his reputation, knew what we could do, and we really starting gelling. The first match was okay, second match was okay, and we started really coming together. The tag team match we had, where I turned on him against The New Day was five stars. The WrestleMania match we had was great, and the one we had the next night, the four-way with me vs Owens vs AJ vs Cesaro for the #1 contender, was a tremendous match.
And that’s the one when I basically got the Styles Clash unbanned because it was banned. And I was like, I knew that Vince had heard that somebody got hurt by the move, but I also knew that he probably didn’t even know what the move was, he just knew the name, the Styles Clash. So I pitched it to him as that cool move that AJ does where he drops you on your face, we did it at WrestleMania, we did it a couple times.
The first time I kicked out of it, just so Vince could see it, and people were so mad at me. I’m helping get this move acclimated and unbanned, and it was, the next month he’s using it on the floor against Roman Reigns.”
Jericho is known for being a selfless performer who does everything he can to help the wrestlers he works with, but it really sounds like he went the extra mile for AJ Styles.
Luckily Jericho’s faith in Styles worked out well, as AJ is currently carrying the WWE Championship for the second time in his career.