It turns out that AJ Styles may owe some of his meteoric rise in WWE to an unlikely source.
Chris Jericho recently said on Chael Sonnen's podcast that he helped get the Styles Clash unbanned in the the WWE.
Well, I’ll tell you, it’s a cool feeling whenever you see guys that’ve worked long and hard to achieve their goal. And, obviously, AJ coming in was a no brainer. It was the same when Daniel Bryan came in. At first, he was kind of behind the eight ball, and I said, ‘there’s nothing they can do to stop him. He's gotten over everywhere he's ever been. He [has] got great main event matches everywhere he's ever been. Eventually, it’s going to happen here.’ And I said that with AJ too. My favorite thing about AJ was that it started, basically, with me. I helped him cut his teeth in the WWE. I helped him get his finish un-banned! The Styles Clash was banned when it first came in and I helped him kind of unlock that, so he can start using it. So all that stuff, I kind of take an extra special pride in helping him.
AJ Styles used the Styles Clash exclusively as his finisher in his career in TNA and over in Japan, even after a few people were badly injured. Former WWE Superstar YOSHITATSU was out of action for almost a year when AJ hit the Styles Clash and YOSHI tucked his head. A similar situation occurred with Lionheart. Initially, the WWE opted to have Styles utilize the Phenomenal Forearm as a finish.
AJ Styles, the current WWE World Champion on Smackdown! Live, debuted for the promotion back at the Royal Rumble this year. He'd go on to feud with John Cena and beating him at Summerslam en route to winning the WWE Championship from Dean Ambrose