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AJ Styles Says There Were No Plans For Him After His WWE Debut At The 2016 Royal Rumble, How Vince Thought He Was A Fluke

AJ Styles looks back at his WWE debut.

The Phenomenal One came out at #3 in the 2016 Royal Rumble match, a moment that has widely been considered one of the best company debuts ever and one of the biggest pops in WWE history. It has long been reported that Vince McMahon thought the moment was a fluke, but eventually saw Styles as the superstar he would become.

Styles spoke about this time in his life during a recent appearance on the My Love Letter To Wrestling program. He begins by recalling how WWE had no immediate plans for him after his Royal Rumble debut due to Vince McMahon not knowing who he was.

I’m not sure how I snuck in there. I think maybe the success of the BULLET CLUB helped for sure with maybe some of the (WWE) writers if they asked him, ‘What do you think about A.J. Styles?’ I don’t how it worked out but I can tell you this, Vince McMahon had no idea who I was. There’s no way because he had no plans for me after the Royal Rumble. I wasn’t supposed to be at Raw the next day.

Styles later states that he did eventually have a chat with Vince about his potential, and that chat led him to earning Vince’s trust.

Yeah, so he just thought it was a fluke that I got the pop that I did in Orlando and I didn’t need to be on TV but I was and I had a very basic match because I thought that Vince wanted to see a babyface be a babyface. He brung me back and he sat me down and I’m so grateful that he did, he says, ‘Listen, I got a thousand guys that can do what you do’ and I said, ‘Hmm.’ He goes, ‘I need a Pitbull’ and I go, ‘Oh, oh! I know that guy’ and that’s exactly the guy I was in New Japan and everywhere else. So it was easy for me to come out and be that guy that he wanted to see and that’s when I think I gained his trust. Like okay, this guy sees my vision and is gonna go out there and show it and so, yeah, that’s the way that worked.

Styles has since gone on to become a Grand Slam Champion in WWE. He will challenge Seth Rollins for the brand new WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Saturday’s Night of Champion premium live event. The full card for that show can be found here.

(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)

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