AJ Styles was the guest on the most recent Sam Roberts Podcast and spoke about his tremendous first year in WWE, timing being an important factor, and how Samoa Joe paved the way for him to come to WWE.
Many say that AJ Styles had the best 2016 of anyone in wrestling.
“Well, if they’re not that, something’s wrong because I did," said Styles, being characteristically humble. "I mean, this guy comes out of nowhere, comes from Japan, not sure what’s going to happen, even I’m not sure what’s going to happen, and one thing leads to another, and I get my shot at Roman Reigns the Monday after WrestleMania. I earned the shot to wrestle Roman Reigns for the world championship. It’s unreal, dude.”
There's a chance that if he had come to WWE earlier, the stars wouldn't have aligned in the way they did. It's hard to believe, but it might have been primarily a case of being the right guy in the right place at the right time.
“I don’t know if it was, ‘hey, we need something fresh and new’ or ‘hey, listen, everybody’s hurt – we need somebody to come in.’ And I think that’s what happened more than anything," said Styles. "There were a lot of guys hurt at the time and I was able to come in there and make the best of an unfortunate opportunity, but a great opportunity for me that guys were hurt and I needed to fill in, basically.”
Styles has nothing but praise for one of his old TNA rivals: Samoa Joe. He even believes that Joe paved the way for himself and other stars from other promotions.
“I knew he should be in WWE a long time ago. The guy can do it all. For his size, he shouldn’t be able to move the way he does. It really makes me angry. The guy’s an unbelievable athlete and he’s also great on the microphone, so there’s nothing Samoa Joe can’t do and he gets to come here and be Samoa Joe. Now, to tell you the truth, Samoa Joe is the one who got this thing started for everybody because he was at NXT first, so it wasn’t necessarily me that got it started. It was Joe and Joe went in there and proved that he can mix it up with anybody and have great matches and have a good attitude, most importantly.”
Styles takes on Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 33 on April 2nd. Fighful will have wall to wall coverage of the event including a post-show podcast.