Unless The Undertaker comes out of retirement for another match, AJ Styles will go down in the history books as his last-ever opponent in the WWE.
In a recent interview with Alex McCarthy of TalkSPORT, Styles admitted that he had no clue that his cinematic Boneyard Match earlier this year at WrestleMania 36 would be The Undertaker’s final match in the WWE.
“Well, as far as the match and him thinking that was going to be his last, I don’t think he knew, nor did I, that that was the one that he needed to end on,” said Styles in an interview hosted by Inside the Ropes. “It just kind of happened and, you know, I literally called him a month after WrestleMania and said, ‘Listen, I need to know if you’re done.’ And, well, he never called me back because I think he was afraid that I’d try to talk him into one more.”
Styles said he was happy that The Phenom got to end his illustrious career on “his own terms” rather than being forced to step aside due to injuries.
“He did it the right way,” felt Styles. “He did it on his own terms. He didn’t have to do it because of an injury or something else. He’s the one who said, ‘You know what? I’m OK with ending it right here.’
“And there’s something to be said about something like that, because injuries plague this business, you know, and you never know how long you’re going to be able to hold out and good for him that he was able to call his own shot.”
A few months after WrestleMania 36, Styles was still “haunted” by Undertaker on-screen, especially during the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. This led to speculation that Undertaker and Styles would meet once again. Styles said he had no idea WWE were going to shoot that angle at MITB.
“I have no idea. I didn’t call that,” he recalled. “I didn’t say anything about that. They said, ‘Hey, what if we did this?’ And I was like, ‘You know, whatever’ ? but I have no idea why they put something like that in there. Maybe it was a just-in-case.”
Styles will challenge Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship tonight at the TLC pay-per-view event. It will be the first-ever singles encounter between The Phenomenal One and The Scottish Warrior.