Backstage News On AJ Styles Almost Appearing At Recent Non-WWE Event

O.C. member Karl Anderson found himself in a complex position when he returned to WWE in October while simultaneously holding on to New Japan Pro-Wrestling's NEVER Openweight Championship. Luckily, an agreement was forged between both companies, allowing Anderson to defend the title on two occasions, including the grand stage of Wrestle Kingdom 17, and almost had a familiar face in his corner.

In a recent appearance on Fightful's "The Wrestling Perspective Podcast," Romero revealed that AJ Styles initiated a discussion about his potential return to NJPW because he "thought it would be cool if he showed up." Although "there was really nothing official," any lingering talks disintegrated when Styles sustained a significant ankle injury at WWE live event on December 30, just five days ahead of Wrestle Kingdom 17.

"I think if it was up to AJ and then he didn't get hurt, maybe he would have shown up," Romero said.

With the rare occurrence of a contracted WWE Superstar appearing at an NJPW-sanctioned event, many fans hoped it would open the door for fellow talent, and former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, AJ Styles to perhaps accompany Anderson. That speculation was further fueled when Anderson's title match opponent, Tama Tonga, invited Styles to the January 4 event.

NJPW's Rocky Romero elicited a similar response after he teased Styles' appearance during a December interview on "The Sessions" with Renee Paquette. "Anything is possible."

Although Styles' return to NJPW never came to fruition, his fellow O.C. stablemate did. There, Anderson fought valiantly against Tonga but ultimately fell short, as Tonga took home the NEVER Openweight Championship.