AJ Styles will consider facing top WWE star only under one condition

AJ Styles was retained on Friday Night SmackDown during the 2024 Draft (Credit: WWE)
AJ Styles was retained on Friday Night SmackDown during the 2024 Draft (Credit: WWE)

Last week was rough for two-time WWE Champion AJ Styles, as he came up short of winning the belt for a third time from Cody Rhodes. The veteran was also eliminated from the first round of the King of the Ring Tournament courtesy of Randy Orton.

Styles is one of the few remaining old-school wrestlers in the business, and perhaps there is only a handful of matches left in his career before he hangs his boots. Henceforth, a showdown with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will most definitely turn eyes and become a huge box-office success if WWE plays their cards right.

Speaking to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, The Phenomenal One was open to the first-time-ever contest against The Final Boss. However, he has no intention of turning babyface for the potential program:

"Of course, I’m interested–but only if that means The Rock is turning babyface," said Styles. "I’m not interested in being a mediocre bad guy. I want to bring this to a whole new level."

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AJ Styles has been building up his forthcoming retirement by reiterating its inevitability. Ahead of WrestleMania XL, where he faced LA Knight, The Phenomenal One disclosed that what he is truly looking forward to at this point is the right story.

If a match comes with the right story in his eyes, he admitted that it would be the end of his illustrious wrestling career.

Dutch Mantell proposes that the former WWE Champion mentors a rising star

There are plenty of up-and-comers in the Stamford-based promotion's television program these days, with most of them shifting from the NXT brand into the main roster.

Some NXT stars find a way on their own and succeed, like Carmelo Hayes and Tiffany Stratton. The Buff Barbie, especially, has been receiving loud reactions from the fans. Be that as it may, some others get lost in the shuffle, like Cameron Grimes, who was let go by the company recently.

Wrestling veteran Dutch Mantell, who formerly managed Jack Swagger, Cesaro, and Alberto Del Rio in WWE, discussed AJ Styles being in the twilight of his career. He also believes that the latter has been treading waters since WrestleMania XL.

The veteran brought up the idea of The Phenomenal One mentoring a young star and later having a fallout. It is a tried and tested formula that has worked for several major players in the past, and Mantell feels that Styles needs something of substance to work with now more than ever.


While Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes vs. AJ Styles in the main event of Backlash France was praised for its quality, the bout received flak for not having any story other than just another title defense for The American Nightmare.

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Edited by Jeevak Ambalgi
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