A new report has shed some light on how AJ Styles nearly appeared at the NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 event with Karl Anderson.
At the NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 event on January 4th in Tokyo, Karl Anderson defended the NEVER Openweight Championship against Tama Tonga. What was unique about the match is that Anderson returned to WWE about four months earlier along with Luke Gallows.
Since Anderson was holding NJPW’s NEVER Open Weight Championship, WWE and NJPW worked out a deal where Anderson would still compete at Wrestle Kingdom 17 as originally planned and drop the title to Tonga, which is what happened.
In an update on the story, Fightful Select reports that there were talks about Anderson’s good friend AJ Styles (who is part of The OC with Anderson & Gallows in WWE) possibly appearing at Wrestle Kingdom 17 as well. Styles is a former IWGP World Champion during his incredible in NJPW prior to his WWE debut in 2016.
The report noted that NJPW’s Rocky Romero told Fightful’s Wrestling Perspective Podcast that AJ Styles himself thought that it would be a cool idea. Romero thinks that if it was up to Styles, he would have been there.
However, Styles suffered a broken ankle during a WWE live event on December 29th that has put him on the sidelines for an undetermined amount of time that could be several months out of action.
It was specified by Romero on the podcast that there were never any official plans for Styles to appear at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom, but at least it was discussed.
That Wrestle Kingdom 17 event made a lot of headlines across the wrestling world especially because Mercedes Mone (former Sasha Banks in WWE) made her NJPW that night.