Ever since news broke that AJ Styles had informed New Japan Pro Wrestling that he was heading to WWE, rumors that Styles would be making his WWE debut at this Sunday’s Royal Rumble began running rampant. Those rumors were then fueled by WWE, as they have time after time talked about Styles, along with the three other NJPW stars they signed — Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Shinsuke Nakamura — debuting in WWE at some point in the near future.
On Wednesday, WWE’s top man John Cena fed the rumor mill by posting a photo of AJ Styles on his Instagram account, which pretty much tells fans that Styles will be in WWE very soon, and at some point he’ll be involved with Cena.
Today, just two days before the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Styles responded to Cena on Instagram by posting a photo of the 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Fans then immediately began speculating that Cena would be taking on Styles at WrestleMania 32 in April. However, the rumor right now is that Cena will wrestle Undertaker at WrestleMania, if he’s able to recover from his shoulder injury in time, which is entirely possible.
While Cena vs. Undertaker would be interesting, Styles vs. Cena would probably end up being one of the most interesting match-ups we’ve seen in WWE in quite some time.
As for Styles’ status for the Royal Rumble on Sunday, all signs seem to be pointing to him being there.
Following a match in the United Kingdom earlier this month, Styles said that he would enter the Royal Rumble match if WWE wanted him there, then he quickly followed that up by saying that he doesn’t have a job with “those guys.”
“I’ll tell you what, if I’m not recovering from some weird armbar submission, and there’s a slot in the Royal Rumble, I’ll be there. I’ll tell you what, I don’t deserve a thing, I don’t deserve you, but I’ll tell you, if you put me in that Royal Rumble match, I’m going to kick some a** for you guys!”
Styles will be at the Ring of Honor show on Saturday night, which will likely be his final ROH appearance. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has reported that, while Styles will be at Saturday’s show, Ring of Honor won’t be allowed to film his appearance, which is a sign that Styles has finally officially signed with WWE.
— Gixx – WWE (@IAmGixx) January 25, 2016
When WWE reached out to Styles earlier this month, their original plan was for him to debut in the Royal Rumble match as a surprise, which is why they weren’t happy that him giving his notice to New Japan became public knowledge.
There have been reports saying that Styles won’t debut at the Royal Rumble on Sunday, but he will be on RAW Monday, with the idea being that WWE will run a short vignette teasing Styles’ debut on Monday during the Rumble show.
Some have also suggested that Styles won’t be on the main roster, saying that he’ll be a regular member of NXT along with Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and Shinsuke Nakamura. However, the Wrestling Observer says that WWE is paying both Styles and Nakamura too much money to be in NXT.
The Observer also noted that there is a chance that Nakamura goes to NXT for a short time before he’s called up to the main roster, but Styles will likely be a full-time member of the main roster right away.
Sunday’s show is expected to be interesting, and full of surprises. Who knows? Maybe all four New Japan signees will end up entering the Royal Rumble match.
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