AJ Styles on ‘Raw Reunion,’ getting The Club back together, why he’s staying in WWE

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WWE likes to throw a celebration and there shall be an enormous one Monday evening with the “Raw Reunion” present airing stay on USA Community starting at eight p.m. ET.

It is being dubbed the “largest reunion in ‘Raw history” with greater than three dozen legends set to look, together with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Ric Aptitude, Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan.

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In fact, the present WWE Superstars shall be there for the three-hour present as properly, together with the present United States champion AJ Kinds. Earlier this yr, he moved to the crimson model after spending practically three years on “SmackDown” and making it, as he referred to as it, “The house that AJ Styles built,” because the model’s prime star together with a 371-day run because the WWE champion.

Now the outstanding (pun meant) star is seeking to do the identical on “Raw” and he is again with a few his finest associates to reform The Membership.

That being mentioned, the Gainesville, GA. native spoke with Sporting Information a couple of hours earlier than the July 22 “Raw Reunion” about shifting to the crimson model, getting The Membership again collectively, who he want to face within the close to future, and why he selected to complete out his in-ring profession within the WWE.

Word: This interview has been edited for readability and size.

SPORTING NEWS: WWE has its “Raw Reunion” tonight and numerous Corridor of Famers and legends are going to be there. Anyone particularly that you are looking ahead to seeing?

AJ STYLES: I did not catch the record of who all goes to be right here, however I’m wanting ahead to seeing all people that I used to observe again within the day. A couple of fellows that I used to work with on the different Orlando place down there (Influence Wrestling) that I’m certain shall be coming round, I’ll be wanting ahead to catching up with these guys.

SN: Do you continue to get excited and large eyes when a bunch of legends are on the present?

AJ: Properly, I’ve had the chance to fulfill these guys and get actual acquainted with them, so it is very seldom that I get like ‘Whoa’ as a result of I’ve met these guys earlier than. Being within the enterprise for over 20 years, you begin to meet all people in it. All people is so nice to be round and it is a pleasure.

SN: Since you’ve been doing this for over 20 years, some guys within the locker room like to choose the thoughts of others who’ve numerous expertise like your self. Are numerous guys coming to you asking questions?

AJ: Typically they do. I attempt to watch matches and provides them my little two cents. I really feel like while you’re serving to another person or giving encouragement or constructive criticism, that you want to not blast them within the face with a bunch of stuff. Give them one or two [things], to allow them to work on the one or two as a result of while you get hit with a bunch of data, it is actually laborious to retain all of it.

If you happen to simply give them one or two issues, and most significantly, encourage them and ensure they know all that they are doing proper too – You’ll be able to’t simply blast them within the face with negativity. Construct them up, allow them to know what you assume, what your opinion is – it is not a reality – of how they’ll get higher and provides them the chance to work on it the subsequent time. That is how I acquired higher. I did not be taught it suddenly.

SN: Relating to being a locker chief, Seth Rollins has actually hooked up himself to that function contemplating his expertise and tenure with WWE. He not too long ago got here out on social media and was calling out some followers for his or her negativity towards WWE. What was your response to his feedback?


I stand agency in my sentiments that @WWE is the perfect professional wrestling on the planet and that I’m the perfect of the perfect doing it proper now. After a helluva week of journey, our crew did not waver for a second. Prime degree people busting their asses for the love of the sport.

– Seth Rollins (@WWERollins) July 2, 2019


AJ: I completely perceive the place he is coming from. We’re on the market doing attempting our greatest to entertain everybody to the perfect of our capability. It is not straightforward to do this and you then need to be arm-chair quarterbacks. Hindsight sucks. All people desires to do this. You’ll be able to’t try this.

In the event that they had been so good at what they’ve performed, and I know you’ve got heard this earlier than, if these guys who need to criticize wrestling had been so good at what they do, they’d have a job within the wrestling enterprise. However they do not. They depend on what another person has mentioned and whether or not or not they agree with that. They choose and select what they like. You’ll be able to’t try this. Both you get pleasure from it or you do not. Regardless, you are making a present about it weekly, so one thing have to be going proper. Anyone is doing one thing proper.

We need to entertain. We need to do our greatest, so it is aggravating when not solely do we all know some issues do not go the best way that we like, then we now have to listen to it from someone else.

SN: You lastly acquired The Membership acquired again collectively and are working together with your buddies Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows once more. How lengthy have you ever been attempting to make that occur?

AJ: I’ve been looking for that for some time now. It is simply a kind of issues the place I know the way gifted these guys are and the chemistry we now have collectively. It is unbelievable. That is why we did so properly in Japan as a result of you’ve six guys – greater than that, by the point I was out of there that loved being collectively. We frolicked. We’re truly associates and to this very day we hang around. We do not have to experience with one another, however we do. We get pleasure from being collectively. You’ll be able to’t educate chemistry and to have us collectively once more, man, it is superior. I’m wanting ahead to seeing what occurs.

SN: There was numerous hypothesis while you first got here to WWE with these guys and once more now that you just’re again collectively if there may very well be different folks becoming a member of The Membership and the title that at all times comes up is Finn Balor. Would you prefer to see that occur?

AJ: In fact, however with Finn Balor being on “SmackDown” and we’re on “Raw” and on prime of that, he is a babyface. We’re not precisely likable proper now. Perhaps that is not one thing that is going to work. There is a time and a spot and hopefully that may work out ultimately.


SN: You have taken on a extra aggressive fashion and are extra of a heel now. What it is prefer to make that flip and present that facet once more?

AJ: I assume change is nice. We have now to construct Superstars and that is what we’re attempting to do. One of the best ways to construct a Famous person is you need to have good heels to do it. I assume Anderson and Gallows and myself are greater than able to serving to construct Superstars. I’m not saying that we’ll at all times be the unhealthy guys, however for proper now, that’s what is required.

SN: You moved again to “Raw” a couple of months in the past. Has it been completely different and did you need to make the transfer?

AJ: I do not assume it is any completely different for me. Yeah, there’s an additional hour however, then once more, we had “205 Live” (after SmackDown), so it was at all times just about the identical. I assume it was an excellent change for me. Being on “SmackDown” for nearly three years, it was time for me to maneuver. It was time for me to do one thing completely different. It was time for me to go to the crimson model.

SN: WWE not too long ago made some information with Paul Heyman being named the Govt Director of “Raw.” What do you count on him to do with “Raw” shifting ahead?

AJ: I’ve at all times been a fan of Paul Heyman. This man is the mastermind that may take performers and conceal their weaknesses and exploit their strengths. It is simply unbelievable how good he’s at this. To have that man serving to out on “Raw,” I’m excited. I assume everybody’s excited. I assume while you see, since he began serving to out, how a lot has modified it is all constructive at this level and I’m wanting ahead to working with him extra.

SN: You introduced earlier this yr that you have signed a brand new take care of WWE. Was that a simple determination to make? Was there any considered wanting elsewhere?

AJ: Certain there was. That is my job. That is what I do for a residing. I knew that the subsequent contract that I will signal shall be my final. I’m getting older and I do not need to embarrass myself if I do not must. That is why it was vital that I made the precise determination and I did. I positively, 100 % made the precise determination in staying with WWE. They’ve taken care of me since I’ve been right here. They’ve proven me nothing however respect, so it labored out.

SN: Anderson and Gallows are going to be hanging round as properly and so they’ve additionally signed new contracts. Did you attempt to persuade them to remain and perhaps say ‘Stick round, we are able to do some good issues collectively?’

AJ: Properly, that was my plan and that plan wasn’t coming to some extent. It was simply a kind of issues that appeared like – we had a few guys behind us, serving to us persuade others that this was a good suggestion that Anderson and Gallows and myself are again collectively once more. There was discuss perhaps them going elsewhere, however on the finish of the day, all of it labored out the best way it was speculated to and I cannot be happier.

SN: What do you want the perfect from that dynamic in working with a bunch alongside Anderson and Gallows in comparison with you being a singles wrestler?

AJ: I assume what I like about it probably the most is, once more, we all know one another so properly. We do not have to speak about what to do subsequent. We already know. We have now an thought. We type of learn one another’s minds at this level. How are you going to not love that? It is simply straightforward. That is why I wished to get again along with these guys so badly and I know the standard of leisure we’re capable of placed on collectively.


SN: There was just a little little bit of a forwards and backwards between you and Adam Cole about Undisputed Period (who’re at the moment part of NXT). Is that one thing you want to see?

AJ: Deliver ’em up! No matter we gotta do to get eyes on our tv, that is what we have to do. I would love that. I know these guys. I know them very properly. So, let’s do that. But it surely’s acquired to be timed proper. I cannot simply be out of nowhere. You need folks to come back see it, so the timing is all the pieces. You simply do not need to throw it on the market.


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