Tonight at WWE No Mercy, Roman Reigns and John Cena face off for the first time in a one on one battle that might main event WrestleMania in an alternate timeline. It's hard to say how this match with shake out, but one man with the experience to talk about both Roman and Cena is AJ Styles, who had memorable feuds with each man during 2016.
Styles was interviewed for the In This Corner podcast on CBSSports.com in order to promote his upcoming WWE comic book, and the conversation turned to the battle between The Big Dog and The Franchise.
Styles had nothing but good things to say about Reigns, who he faced at both Payback and Extreme Rules last spring.
"I look back at stepping stones and that was one of them wrestling Roman because he was definitely a big name here at WWE and still is," Styles said. "I wanted to show that we could have a great match but little did I know how great Roman was -- a lot better than most people think. He was outstanding.
"He's a lot more athletic than people ever knew. He's on another level and I was glad to be in the ring with him to show everybody that he is and that this guy can hang with AJ Styles. To me, it was a great feud."
Immediately after that Extreme Rules loss to Roman, Styles turned heel in a big way, "beating up John Cena" for the first time before making it a hobby for the summer of 2016 leading to a dream match between the two at Summerslam. They'd face each other again at No Mercy last year, this time in a triple threat also featuring Dean Ambrose, before turning in a brilliant rubber match at Royal Rumble this past January. So you could say AJ has a history with John Cena.
"John Cena and I, despite being two different professionals in every way, just knock it out of the park," Styles said. "Opposites attract, and certainly John and I do that in the ring and make magic."
AJ Styles is currently the United States Champion on SmackDown, so he'll be watch Cena vs Reigns tonight from home like everyone else. Fightful will have full live coverage of the event, as well as a post-show podcast.