WWE Superstar AJ Styles recently spoke with Rolling Stone about various topics including: how quickly he was moved into WWE’s main event picture and what that means to him, the kind of presence he wants to have in the locker room, working with Roman Reigns, if he sees himself staying with WWE once his in-ring career is over, retirement, and his hair.
The following is directly from that interview.
Are you surprised at how quickly you were moved into WWE’s main event scene? Did you think it would take a little longer to get to this point?
I think it’s a surprise to everyone, to be honest with you. I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t surprised. I was hopeful – I thought eventually I’d be in the main event because I have that kind of drive, but to be here so quickly, you don’t expect that. But at the end of the day you have to give the people what they want, and they seem to like what I’m doing out here in WWE. You can’t write a better way to put yourself over, and it makes me want to work hard and maintain where I’m at.
Tell me about the Monday after ‘WrestleMania,’ when you learned you were being booked to win that Number One Contender match. How did it feel to get that news?
Well first off, my kids know dad’s wrestled his whole life, but they were very saddened to see my loss at WrestleMania, and it was kinda shocking to me that they were sad because they know what’s up. However, I knew what was happening on Monday so I was excited about them getting to see that. I guess that’s the first thing that jumped in my mind, “I can’t wait to see the look on my kids’ faces.”
What does it mean to you to be working WWE main events at this stage of your career?
I mean, there’s plenty of people who’ve never gotten the opportunity to wrestle at WrestleMania. To perform there and do that, I never thought it would ever happen. I had learned to live with it. So to say I did that is a big notch in my belt. Now I can say I’ve worked a WWE main event, but it keeps on going. There’s a lot of goals I’ve set in the WWE that I want to accomplish. I’m always setting goals for myself, and someday I want to be in the Hall of Fame.
You and Roman have put together a series of really great matches over the last couple months. He’s a divisive star, to say the least, but do you think a lot of fans underestimate him?
Absolutely. I think he’s a better athlete than a lot of people realize. He should get a lot more credit for his athleticism. He’s unbelievable, he can do a lot of stuff. I think he’s been able to showcase that with me. We’re doing something right – I don’t think people gave Roman a chance; in fact. I think a lot of fans jumped on the bandwagon when someone started booing, instead of taking the chance to see what he could do in the ring.
You’re 38 – have you given any thought to retirement?
No. I know that retirement will be in a couple years. I don’t know how many a couple is at this point, but the ultimate goal is the opportunity to retire [and then] do something else you’re interested in. There’s a lot of guys who have retired and went into podcasts or TV shows, so there’s other things out there. But also you want to spend time with your family, because when you’re in WWE you’re gonna work for your money, and I expect to do that. But that means you’ll be on the road a little more and might miss some things at home, but you get to make that up by retiring and being with them 24/7 – which might annoy them to a certain degree [laughs].
You can read the above and more on Rolling Stone’s website by clicking right here.
Picture used above is courtesy of WWE.com.