The Message AJ Styles Sent WWE Hall Of Famer After Fake Retirement

AJ Styles entrance

AJ Styles still has a lot left in the tank after teasing his retirement on WWE SmackDown.

In the main event segment of the May 31st edition of WWE Smackdown, AJ Styles was in the ring delivering a speech as if he was ready to retire as a pro wrestler. The 47-year-old husband and father of four has been wrestling for over 25 years and is near the end of his career, but he’s not ready to call it quits yet.

Styles brought out his buddies Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows for the speech. Styles also called out the Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes to thank him for the fantastic match they had at Backlash France last month. It turned out to be a ruse because Styles attacked Cody with a clothesline followed by an attack that ended with a Styles Clash on the floor.

The angle was a recreation of Mark Henry doing the same thing to John Cena in 2013. Henry famously wore a salmon-colored suit jacket in the segment. After Henry dropped Cena with a World’s Strongest Slam, he yelled: “I’ve got a lot left in the tank.” Cena would win their WWE Title match, but it’s the speech that has lived on forever.

In an interview with Fightful, WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry spoke about how AJ Styles reached out to him after the Smackdown segment.

I loved it. I feel a sense of pride when I’m being honored, and WrestleMania, Bianca Belair did a Mark Henry spot and walked up the steps and pressed her opponent into the ring. Whenever people do stuff like that, Braun Strowman did it several times, I just feel a sense of accomplishment.”

“You feel like a proud papa, and I got a text message from AJ Styles saying, ‘Man, I hope I made you proud.’ It made my eyes well up. So having an effect on people, it’s sometimes greater than you doing it yourself. I don’t know if I explained that properly. I felt in my heart enough to make me tear up, so that was pretty damn special.

After working for AEW for the last four years, Mark Henry recently left the company. The Hall of Famer is a regular co-host on the Busted Open Radio Show.

AJ Styles Will Challenge Cody Rhodes For WWE Title Again

As for AJ Styles, his vicious attack on Cody Rhodes worked because on the June 5th Smackdown in Louisville, Cody Rhodes was looking for a fight. Styles told Rhodes he can get a fight if Cody puts up the WWE Title at Clash at the Castle on Saturday, June 15th. Cody agreed to it, but he added that he wanted it to be an “I Quit Match” since Styles teased nearly quitting/retiring from WWE. Styles agreed to the match and the Smackdown GM Nick Aldis made it official as well.

The next WWE PLE is Clash at the Castle in Glasgow, Scotland on June 15th. Here’s the lineup so far.

* World Heavyweight Championship: Damian Priest (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

* I Quit Match for the Undisputed WWE Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs. AJ Styles

* WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Piper Niven

* Intercontinental Championship: Sami Zayn (c) vs. Chad Gable

* WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill (c) vs. Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark vs. Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn

You can watch WWE Clash at the Castle, streaming live Saturday, June 15, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.