On episode 216 of his podcast, Jericho Spoke spoke at length about AJ Styles making his debut in WWE at the Royal Rumble. Jericho talked about when he first saw AJ enter the dressing room that day.
“I think the big buzz of the night and one of the big, huge surprises was the debut of AJ Styles in the WWE, which was a huge, huge get for us. We’ve been waiting to have him for a long time,” Jericho said. “One of the hottest free agents in the world today finally in the WWE and it was really cool because in the first night, in the Rumble, I came in the ring. He and [Roman] Reigns were the only ones in there. All three of us just kind of stood there and it was a really good buzz.”
Jericho added, “when he [came] into the dressing room [prior to the Royal Rumble], I felt a little bit, not bad for him, but I understood what he was going through because he shows up there when we’re having the meeting for the Royal Rumble, because he was probably hiding all day or whatever it was, and he comes into the meeting and he knows some people, but he’s standing in the back and kind of being quiet and doesn’t want to step on anybody’s toes.”
Jericho says he was surprised by being booked in a match with Styles the next night on RAW. He had previously stated that it was Vince McMahon’s idea to put them in the ring together on Monday.
“We worked the next night on RAW, which was another surprise. And when it was pitched to me, it was pitched to me one way and then I had an idea to kind of go another way, so, hopefully, if things keep going the way we hope, you might see another Jericho/Styles match, so we’ll see.” Jericho continued, “I was really happy with [the match]. It was fun. It was fun to get in there with a new guy and kind of suss each other out a little bit. And now, it will only get bigger and more intense as we go forward.”
Jericho predicted a bright future for the former TNA World Champion in WWE. Jericho said that in two nights with WWE, more people who know AJ Styles is than they did for the last 15 years.
“I have no doubt that AJ Styles is going to be over big time in the WWE. He already is, just from his fans that he [has] got, but there [are] a lot of people who have never heard of AJ Styles and don’t know who he is or what he brings to the table. And at the Royal Rumble, we let them know a little bit and we let them know a little bit more on RAW. I love that people were like, ‘Jericho said, ‘welcome to the big leagues, kid’. He [has] been in TNA.’ Listen, I agree. He [has] been all over the world, but the WWE is the big leagues! That’s the truth. It’s not being arrogant or being dismissive of his past, but the WWE is the big leagues. It’s where everybody wants to be if you’re in the [professional] wrestling business. I don’t care what you say. Everybody wants to be in the WWE because this is the big leagues. This is the big time. The biggest pro wrestling company in the world, ever, in front of the biggest stage, the biggest crowds, the most worldwide influence. You go from being the biggest worldwide independent star and in two nights, more people know who AJ Styles is right now than they did for the entire 15 years of his career up to it, so that’s not demeaning. That’s the truth, and if you don’t like it, you’re just living in dreamland because nothing beats being in the WWE.”
Related: Details On AJ Styles’ First WWE Feud