AJ Styles: Vince McMahon Wanted Me To Bring Out The 'Pitbull' After SmackDown Debut

AJ Styles had a storied career before he joined WWE in 2016, winning titles all over the world. His move to WWE excited fans, but also represented a transition as AJ had to learn the WWE style upon joining the company.

In his first matches against Chris Jericho and Curtis Axel, AJ wrestled how he thought he was supposed to wrestle. And it was some advice from Vince McMahon that let him know he could simply be himself.

QT Marshall Discusses How He Formats AEW Shows, Collaborating With Tony Khan

"When I had my first match against Curtis Axel. Vince brought me to the back and goes, 'I have guys that can do what you do. What I need is this pitbull. That's what I need.' I go, 'Oh, I know that guy.' I was trying to be what I thought a babyface was supposed to be in WWE. When he told me that, I was like, 'Okay, now I can be this guy who just wants to eat people alive.' It got to the point where, it was a make or break on Miz TV. A couple of guys came up to me and said, 'You've got to put it on him.' They wanted to see that intensity. I did that and that changed everything," AJ said on WWE After The Bell.

Styles ended up breaking Miz' teeth during the segment.

If Vince wanting to see the "pitbull" coming out of AJ sounds familiar, it's because WWE put a similar segment on SmackDown in December 2018 with McMahon asking for AJ to unleash his inner-animal, leading to AJ striking McMahon.

You can view the segment in the video above.

If you use any of the quotes above, please give a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.

Get exclusive combat sports content on Fightful Select, our premium news service! Click here to learn more.
From The Web