Unless WWE fans have lived under a rock for the last 72 hours, most people know that WWE is on the verge of signing Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, and AJ Styles, Yes, the same AJ Styles who wasn’t on the WWE’s radar for the last five years. All of a sudden, Triple H must’ve said something to Vince McMahon to make him change his mind and sign four of the best wrestlers in the world today.
At this time, the positives heavily outweigh the negatives. Not only are they talented, but three of those men were members of the most-popular stable in the wrestling world, the Bullet Club. As for Nakamura, he was Japan’s John Cena. The “King of Strong Style” is known for his vicious kicks and rough wrestling acumen. Think of his wrestling style similar to Asuka’s in WWE NXT.
Above all else, AJ Styles is the big name that the WWE finally secured. Even though he’s older than a fresh 23-year-old star, his wrestling ability hasn’t suffered due to his longevity in the business. That’s one big reason why the WWE is about to sign him. It’s not official yet, but Ring of Honor canceled all advertisements for the former TNA champion.
Looking at the situation from unbiased eyes, criticism can be found. Age is one thing, but what about all four men not being “WWE material”? The people who know the most about the WWE are the folks who work or have worked there. Vince Russo talked about AJ Styles joining the WWE in the latest Wrestling Inc. Podcast, in which he made harsh accusations about Styles’ future with the company.
“I worked with AJ for probably a decade. Being on both sides of that fence, I don’t see AJ Styles as WWE material. AJ is one of the most class acts through and through that I know. He’s a good, good man, a great father, a stand up guy. I was on the other side of that fence. I was in WWE when it was political warfare.”
“I think it’s going to be tough for someone like AJ to exist in that environment. Especially when he’s never been put in an environment like that before. We handled him with kid gloves in TNA from day one. He was the TNA guy. He was always treated that way. He’s going into a different environment. He may be the greatest wrestler on the planet but I don’t know if he’ll have the makeup for that environment. I’m talking strictly personality. Nothing to do with size, capabilities, just as a human being in that type of atmosphere.”
Is Vince Russo right? Granted, he has a reputation of being controversial out of spite. TNA is a different environment than the WWE and always has been. Dixie Carter handles her wrestlers differently than Vince McMahon. It’s the level of success and the platform they are on. New Japan Pro Wrestling is the closest thing Styles has come to the WWE.
At NJPW, Styles was able to wrestle the way he wanted to. There are unfortunate limitations on the main roster. WWE NXT is a different story, but it’s rumored that Styles may debut at the Royal Rumble, or at least on the main roster with Nakamura.
Whoever makes it to the main roster out of the NJPW wrestlers won’t find it as a smooth transition. Unless Vince Russo is wrong, Styles may find that it takes some time to adjust to the “WWE way.”
[Image via superluchas.com]