At last night’s WWE Smackdown television tapings, a rematch between “The Phenomenal 1” AJ Styles and Chris Jericho from their Monday Right RAW match almost two weeks ago was confirmed, per Wrestling Inc.
Emanating from Memphis, Tennessee, Styles defeated The Miz with the Calf Killer submission move, according to the report. After the match, Jericho — after being at ringside for the bout — grabbed a microphone and challenged Styles to a rematch. Styles accepted Jericho’s challenge and the match is reportedly set for next week on SmackDown.
The night after making his WWE debut as the No. 3 entrant in the Royal Rumble, Styles wrestled Jericho in his first WWE match the following night on RAW. After solid, back-and-forth action, Styles caught Jericho with a roll-up to win his first televised match on WWE television.
In his this two appearance on WWE television since that victory, Styles defeated Social Outcasts’ member Curtis Axel with a Styles Clash on SmackDown last week. This week on RAW, Styles was a guest on The Miz’s talk show segment, MizTV. After a lengthy diatribe from The Miz, that managed to both promote and diss Styles, the Gainsville, Georgia, native assaulted The Miz as the live crowd cheered.
Since his aforementioned debut, Styles has drawn praise from fans and peers alike.
“I have no doubt that AJ Styles is going to be over big time in the WWE,” Jericho said on his podcast, Talk Is Jericho, days after his match with Styles (via WrestlingInc). “He already is, just from his fans that he [has] got, but there [are] a lot of people who have never heard of AJ Styles and don’t know who he is or what he brings to the table. And at the Royal Rumble, we let them know a little bit and we let them know a little bit more on RAW.”
“You go from being the biggest worldwide independent star and in two nights, more people know who AJ Styles is right now than they did for the entire 15 years of his career up to it, so that’s not demeaning. That’s the truth and if you don’t like it, you’re just living in dreamland because nothing beats being in the WWE.”
While Jericho’s assessment may be the most accurate, given that he’s the one who just worked with Styles, several other people within the industry have praised Styles. WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Nash, who worked with Styles several times in TNA, gave his thoughts on the “Phenomenal 1” and his debut.
— Kevin Nash (@RealKevinNash) January 26, 2016
Fellow WWE Hall of Famer and legendary play-by-play announcer Jim Ross also chimed in on Styles’ debut. Keeping with the pattern of positivity, Ross was impressed with the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
“AJ Styles had a terrific debut and made a memorable debut into the world of WWE. Styles is a money ball player and his future in WWE should be bright based on what WWE management saw and heard Sunday night.”
On the road to Wrestlemania, the WWE Universe will now experience a match that many thought would never happen, for the second time.
[Featured Image via WWE]