Competing in his first Royal Rumble match since 2016, A.J. Styles suffered a separated shoulder during the bout. The injury occurred after Styles landed awkwardly on his left shoulder following a spear from Edge. Styles came back up from the spear, held his left arm, which appeared to be dangling. A referee stepped up onto the apron to communicate with Edge and Styles was tossed out right after that communication.
Speaking on his Mixer channel, Styles discussed exactly what happened during the match. He also made sure to point out that Edge was not to blame.
“Just so everything is clear: Edge did nothing, absolutely 100% nothing wrong,” Styles stated. “His move, his spear, everything was perfect the way he did it. If there is any blame put on anybody about what I’m dealing with my shoulder, it’s me. 100% me. I was over-brothered as they say, I just went crazy with my bump there. The only problem with flipping the way I did, the first thing to hit was my left shoulder. I thought I dislocated my shoulder. They wanted to get me out of there right away but I told them we can’t do that, I can’t roll under the bottom rope, that’s not how the Rumble works. I said I’m staying in, and somebody’s going to have to throw me over. We made sure that happened.
“It is a separated shoulder. If you are going to do some damage to your shoulder, that might be the best one to do because you can come back with therapy from this,” Styles continued. “I’m pretty sure that is all it is. I could tell you Monday morning it was very difficult to put on a shirt. To put on deodorant, I couldn’t even reach across. It sucked. From Monday to Tuesday and therapy today, I’m feeling a lot better. I don’t expect to be out very long. I’m betting on myself that I’ll be back before they think that I’m ready. We’ll see how that works out.”
The injury will reportedly not stop Styles from making it to WrestleMania. It will keep him from doing the job that he loves for the time being, something that drives the former WWE Champion crazy.
“I got work to do,” Styles went on to say. “It is one thing to be off of work, it is another one not being able to go to work, that drives me nuts. Drives me insane, not being able to work out. I’m going to get back after it as soon as I can.
“No worries. It is going to be alright. I’m not going to miss WrestleMania. I’ll scratch and claw my way there if I have to. My main thing: zero blame goes to Edge.”
Although he has taken the precaution, it is still affecting the mobility of Styles. Styles noted that the injury is something he’s experienced before in WWE.
“It is much more swollen today than it was yesterday. That’s odd,” stated Styles. “I have that knot on my shoulder that a lot of the guys get. I remember doing this to myself maybe two years ago, when I was working with Roman [Reigns]. The exact same thing, landed the exact same way. Maybe not as hard.”
Freak injuries occur in the ring. When looking back at what went wrong, Styles discussed taking the move throughout his career.
“I actually enjoy taking spears. If you’ve seen Rhino give me spears, it’s like, inside out. It was one of those things where I was just a little tilted maybe to the left side. I couldn’t have landed any better on my shoulder to hurt it. It was the first thing that hit when I fell.”
Edge ended up getting eliminated by Roman Reigns in the Rumble and then started a program with Randy Orton on RAW. While Styles may have missed out on a program with Edge, he is grateful to have had an opportunity to work with the Rated-R Superstar.
“I was so stoked to be in the ring with him [Edge] and have that moment with him,” Styles said. “I was excited about that.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.