In his recent appearance on Out of Character, Raw Tag Team Champion AJ Styles discussed a number of topics, including the days leading up to his WWE debut.
During the conversation with host Ryan Satin, Styles recalled making the move from Japan, back to the United States. “The Phenomenal One” also spoke about skipping past NXT, and more. Check out his comments below.
On joining WWE after a great run in New Japan:
“It was one of those things that I was like, ‘Hey, listen if they’re looking for an AJ Styles, I would be happy to give it a shot’’ and I was willing to go down to NXT for a couple of months to get my feet wet and then get to a main brand like a Raw or SmackDown… I had no idea what was going to happen. There was talk of, ‘Hey, I don’t know if we can keep your name.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s fine, I’ll be whoever you want me to be but I have this huge tattoo on my side that says AJ, but you can call me whatever you want.’ Listen, I was worried about this southern accent that I can’t shake, that Vince was going to make me wear overalls and come out to a little country song or something with a banjo. I was more worried about that.”
On skipping NXT, and debuting on the main roster:
“Absolutely, the fact that Samoa Joe was still in NXT and I was able to jump the line I was like, ‘Okay.’ I was not going to argue with them about it. I was happy to get the opportunity… Timing. I think that had a lot to do with it. Being in Orlando was a huge thing for me, being in TNA for so long. Then, to have the opportunity to be number three, as crazy as that sounds, in the Royal Rumble, was huge for me. It was huge.”