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WWE News: AJ Styles on how he kept his Royal Rumble debut a secret

Simon Cotton
3.35K   //    25 Sep 2017, 13:04 IST

The Beginning of a Phenomenal Year
The Beginning of a Phenomenal Year

What’s the Story?

AJ Styles made a phenomenal debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble and discussed on the latest episode of The In This Corner Podcast how he and the WWE kept his debut a secret.

In Case You Didn’t Know

The month of January 2016 was an action-packed month for the Phenomenal One as he began with a critically acclaimed match against Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at the Wrestle Kingdom 10.

Both men left New Japan Pro Wrestling for the WWE, but only Styles went to the main roster and debuted at the 2016 Royal Rumble.

Styles would enter the Rumble match as the third entrant and would last nearly 30 minutes before being eliminated by Kevin Owens.

The Heart of the Matter

Styles said that WWE had to bring him from a different city in Florida because he would’ve been spotted way too easily in Orlando and they had to use several cars and facilities to keep him hidden.

“We went in through Tampa rather than Orlando so that nobody knew I was coming, which I thought was pretty cool. The hours before [the match], I’m driving up in a car that WWE got for me so they could keep it secret. I literally get out of the car and into a trailer where nobody can see me. I didn’t know it was going to be that big of a deal.”

After his debut, Styles went on to feud with Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, John Cena, and Dean Ambrose for the rest of 2017. He held the WWE Championship for 140 days and was the first man to hold the TNA, WWE, and IWGP World Championships.

What’s Next?

With Nakamura as a member of the SmackDown roster, many fans are hoping to see both men relive their magic from Wrestle Kingdom 10 and battle for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 34.


If Nakamura wins the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell, then there’s a good chance that Styles could end up winning the Royal Rumble or winning another match to become the.#1 Contender for the WWE Championship.

Styles is currently the US Champion and it’s doubtful that he’ll pursue the WWE Championship before dropping his current title.

Author’s Take

Styles’ debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble was merely the first moment in what was easily one of the best debut years in the history of the WWE.

His current US Championship run has left a lot to be desired, but hopefully, there are some big things in store for the Phenomenal One. 

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Simon Cotton
Freelance Journalist and Photographer, Columbia College Chicago Graduate Student, Jackson State University Alumnus Occasional guest on the Social Suplex Podcast Network. Catch me on Anchor for some interesting thoughts.
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