AJ Styles was recently live on his Twitch account and addressed his recent loss to Jey Uso on SmackDown. A fan had mentioned it being a selfless act on Styles behalf as an older performer helping put over a younger star. Styles corrected the fan and told him it was all part of telling a story and helping build Jey Uso up as a viable opponent for Roman Reigns to further push their feud together.
“Listen, there’s a story that needs to be told here,” Styles said. “That story is that Jey Uso is not to be played with. Don’t make this guy mad. He can go. He can really go. There’s no doubt about that. It’s a business and this is entertainment. I’m not about getting myself over every time. What good is it for me to get over if the company doesn’t benefit from it? Then nobody wins.
“I’m not old school,” Styles added. “I guess I’m old school when it comes to the ring mentality of getting in there and getting roughed up – take the damage to your body because that’s just the way it’s gotta be and keep moving forward. That’s the old school part of me. The other part of being selfish and stabbing people in the back – it used to be like that in this business, but it’s not like that now.”
Styles went on to say that while there might be a couple of guys who are selfish, mostly everyone else is focused on helping each other look as good as possible for the greater benefit of all involved. He even referenced the Attitude Era and how the locker room was so full of stars.
“You may have one or two guys that are very focused on themselves,” Styles said. “Most of the new guys that came up with myself who have always tried to help each other out to have a great match – if we can have a great match and tell a great story, then everybody benefits. It won’t just be one person that benefits and becomes a star. Everyone benefits because everybody’s watching this.
“I remember the Attitude Era,” Styles added. “I felt like everyone was a star. Everybody. Nobody was like, ‘Oh look at this guy’ when he came out – it was like, ‘Alright, here we go!’ That’s what we need to do. The only way to do that is to make sure everybody looks good. What’s wrong with that? Maybe some people have a problem with it, but I don’t.”
Styles was then asked how he feels about Mustafa Ali being revealed as the leader of Retribution and said he’s really interested to see where it goes and thinks it could be something pretty special.
“I don’t know, to be honest with you,” Styles admitted. “Let’s see where it goes. I think it has the potential to be something really special and entertaining. Ali’s awesome and he’s waited long enough to be in something and I really hope it pays off for him. I’m really excited for him. I think he’s going to be great and do well. I’m hoping he does well. He’s got all the talent, now it’s time to put it to work.”
Styles had recently said he had hope that WWE would be able to resume touring in some capacity as early as November, but is now a little more skeptical. He acknowledged 2020 being a rough year for many, but it’s important for him to find the positives in situations. He said one of the positives from a performer’s point of view, is the change in schedule has allowed their bodies to heal up a little more than what a regular schedule did.
“I really thought [touring] would start in November,” Styles said. “Now I’m thinking it’s not. I want to get out and I’m so anxious, as is everyone. I don’t know if it’s a percentage of people that can be l let in. I don’t know where we’re at and I don’t know where we are going to be in a month. Who knows? I’m not going to be negative about it. I was talking about this the other day. 2020 really sucks, but at the same time, some of us still have a job.
“For professional wrestlers, we can somewhat heal a little bit,” Styles said. “We can spend time with our families. I can’t tell you I’ve done that in the past 21 years – like really spend quality time with my family. To the point where I’m making my wife mad and she’s ready for me to get back on the road – that’s exactly what’s happening. You just have to find the positive in things. Sometimes it’s not easy and it just sucks, but we have to find those positive things – even if we really have to search deep for it.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please give a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.