AJ Style is known as “The Phenomenal One” and he is still considered by many to be one of WWE’s greatest performers. He recently spoke about his career before getting into WWE on WWE’s The Bump. AJ Styles made his WWE debut after spending nearly 17 years on the indie circuit.
He was a veteran wrestler even before he joined the largest wrestling promotion in the world. AJ Styles made his WWE debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble PPV. He immediately got into the ring and faced Roman Reigns.
AJ Styles on His Illustrious Indie Career
Styles stated that he is happy about working for the other companies before he joined WWE.
One of the companies that Styles also worked for was WCW, which was bought by WWE after WCW went out of business. "I knew I had a contract. So, I knew I was going to be coming back for a few more matches," AJ Styles mentioned about his time in WCW.
"Now, I didn't know that WCW was going to go out of business. That sucked for me. But, it is what it is, and it happened for a reason. I wasn't ready to be in WCW. And I'm sure as heck was not ready to be in WWE.
So, I'm glad things happened the way they did. I'm happy for the experience, but the timing wasn't right." Styles revealed that he was quite nervous about making his WWE WrestleMania debut, even though he has years of experience.
"Well, I flew into Tampa and was driven from Tampa to Orlando, so it was kind of like a big secret. I was like maybe this is a big deal, I don't know," he recalled. "I was certainly nervous about the whole situation 'cause I'm coming into someone else's house knowing some of the talent but not all of them.
I was in the trailer, and they were hiding me. It was definitely nerve-racking not knowing what to think or what was about to happen." Styles wrestled for wrestling promotions TNA, Ring of Honor and NJPW. He built a solid reputation while he was working for those companies and he was hopeful that his fans would follow him all the way to WWE when he joined.
"It was a little bit of both," AJ Styles replied. "If I could bring fans to WWE, that was great. And if I could make more fans in WWE, that's what I want to do. I wasn't sure what to expect or what I could do for WWE at all.
My mindset is: Work hard, and it'll pay off. But is AJ a star? Can I do this? Sometimes, I don't know what my worth is, and that might be a bad thing. But, you know, I was just excited to be there, man."