Truth Behind AJ Styles’ Surprise Japanese Return Revealed

AJ Styles entrance

AJ Styles is a man in demand.

On June 16th it was announced that AJ Styles would be heading to Pro-Wrestling NOAH to challenge Japanese legend Naomichi Marufuji. The match is set to take place on July 13th at NOAH Destination.

Styles has a lengthy history with Japanese wrestling having starred in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship twice. Meanwhile, WWE and NOAH aren’t complete strangers either, having worked together in 2023 when Shinsuke Nakamura wrestled The Great Muta as part of his retirement tour.

As reported by Tokyo Sports, it was Cyber Fight’s Director Arihiro Takeda who wanted Styles in the match.

It was Takeda who nominated AJ, who had no connection to Noah. He explained the reasoning behind this, saying, “The WWE Universe (fans) wouldn’t want the WWE worldview to be destroyed, and WWE performances in Japan come as a package, but the next wrestler Japanese fans can dream of being apart from WWE is AJ after Shinsuke Nakamura.”

Meanwhile, it was WWE who asked Marufuji to be involved.

“It was like there was only one choice. If there’s a Noah wrestler who’s well-known in America, it’s got to be Marufuji. He’s a Japanese legend. I think it also has to do with the fact that there are PPVs (for Noah) over there.”

AJ Styles Open To TNA Return

The announcement of the match in Japan came after AJ Styles admitted he’d be open to returning to TNA Wrestling as part of the promotion’s new relationship with WWE.

After failing to make a mark in WCW and the WWF in the early 2000s, Styles established himself as a TNA legend across a stint lasting 12 years. Following his exit from the company in 2014, Styles impressed for NJPW before signing with WWE in 2016.