AJ Styles, along with other NJPW signees, likely to enter the Royal Rumble
AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson may be making their WWE debut at the Royal Rumble on January 24.
News broke on Monday morning that four huge names from New Japan Pro Wrestling (AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and Shinsuke Nakamura) had given NJPW notice that they had been approached by WWE, and that they were planning on signing with the worldwide leader in sports entertainment.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer went into detail about the four New Japan stars heading to WWE on Wrestling Observer Radio, saying that he wasn’t sure of the full details as yet, or when all four men will appear in the WWE, but he did say that everyone with the exception of Shinsuke Nakamura will join the WWE at some point in the near future.
“WWE has gone after Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, AJ Styles, and Shinsuke Nakamura. As far as the dates and everything, I’m not fully aware, but they all pretty much told New Japan that they were leaving at some point. Nakamura may not be right away, the other ones, again I don’t know the dates, and as far as what they’re going to do, and when they’re going to be there, that’s all up in the air.”
With the Royal Rumble coming up in just a couple of weeks, there is some talk of having the NJPW signees make their debuts as surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble match, which Meltzer explained was very possible, on the post-Raw edition of Wrestling Observer Radio.
“WWE wanted to keep this a secret because they wanted to break everyone, and also, because there are surprises in the Royal Rumble, so that should probably tell you part of this. Whether that happens or not, it was one of the plans.”
There’s also an idea being kicked around of forming the Balor Club on WWE’s main roster with all the NJPW signees, and, of course, Finn Balor, who was the leader of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Bullet Club before he made the jump to WWE.
Also, unlike most guys WWE has brought in from other promotions in the last couple of years, there are no plans to send anyone of their signings from New Japan to NXT, which means all of them will be brought to the main roster right away.
So, with the idea that a Balor Club faction will form on WWE’s main roster featuring Finn Balor, AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Doc Gallows (who was previously in the WWE as Luke Gallows), it looks like Finn Balor will be called up to the main roster at some point in the near future.
As for why the four New Japan stars won’t be in NXT, well, that’s due to money, as WWE reportedly paid all four men handsomely, especially Shinsuke Nakamura, to sign with them.
Furthermore, WWE doesn’t want AJ Styles in NXT due to his age, as he is 38-years-old, and has been battling some pretty significant back injuries over the last couple of months. Styles may also debut well before any of the other three men, as he doesn’t have any more Ring of Honor, or New Japan dates booked.