For years AJ Styles was the face of TNA, but a few years ago he decided to part ways with the company and take a chance on himself. That chance paid off big time, and eventually he was offered a WWE contract.
Leading up to the Royal Rumble in 2016, there were a lot of rumors going around about AJ Styles possibly make his debut at the big event, but no one knew for sure what would happen. During a recent appearance on the In This Corner podcast, Styles explained how WWE kept his Royal Rumble debut a secret.
“We went in through Tampa rather than Orlando so that nobody knew i was coming, which I thought was pretty cool,” Styles said. “The hours before [the match], I’m driving up in a car that WWE got for me so they could keep it secret. I literally get out of the car and into a trailer where nobody can see me. I didn’t know it was going to be that big of a deal.”
Styles entered the Royal Rumble at number 3, and fans weren’t sure exactly who it was when the music hit because the song was unfamiliar. AJ’s entrance song has since become a fan favorite, and even though he liked it from the start, he was unsure if fans would get behind the song.
“I didn’t know what to think of it, to be honest with you,” Styles said. “I liked it but at the same time I was like, ‘Will the WWE Universe love it?’ You are seeing it from a different view than everyone else because you think it’s talking about you and you specifically. ‘Is it a bad thing that they are calling me a ‘redneck?’ I don’t mind being called a redneck. I am a redneck. Is that a bad thing? Can people relate to someone being called a redneck?’ All this stuff came out. But it fit me like a glove, there’s no question about that.”
AJ has found a lot of success since his Royal Rumble debut. He’s managed to capture the WWE Championship, the United States Championship twice, and he’s feuded with some of the top names in WWE.
He’s currently one of the top stars on SmackDown Live, and there’s no telling what the future might hold for The Phenomenal One.