AJ Styles has had one hell of a run with WWE since he joined the company in 2016, but for many years he was the face of TNA.
Styles had some classic rivalries in TNA, but it’s safe to say that John Cena has arguably been his biggest rival in WWE.
Arn Anderson spent a lot of time working with John Cena when he was working for WWE, and during a recent episode of his podcast he noted that he suggested a few names from TNA when Cena was in need of new opponents.
The WWE Hall of Famer specifically suggested Bobby Roode, AJ Styles and James Storm, but the idea didn’t seem to catch on with John Cena.
“I remember I was sitting there with Cena one afternoon. I was sitting backstage at a table. I said, ‘You know John, it would really beef up the company if we would go out and steal Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, and The Cowboy — James Storm. If we just brought those three guys in, it would give you a whole plethora of new opponents. It would give a lot of guys new opponents.’ That’s just those three guys, and I singled them out because of their work and their psychology. I knew I could have been a fit helping them, and they would catch right on and they would be a very, very, good fit. John said, ‘Hey, we got NXT, we make our own stars.’ I am sure he was just transferring Vince’s psychology to me when he said that. I knew what those guys could do in a match for John if you gave them 6 to 9 months to come in and get over.”
All three names eventually made it to WWE in some form. James Storm had a brief stint with NXT, Bobby Roode became NXT Champion and is now on the main roster, and AJ Styles is currently one of the top stars in the company.