When Chris Jericho debuted in WWE back in 1999, he was one of the most well-known and respected professional wrestlers in the world, but he wasn’t treated as such upon his arrival. Why? Well, it’s simple really: Vince McMahon doesn’t care what anyone has done outside of WWE. Essentially, the chairman won’t buy into the hype until the newly-signed, “world class” wrestler is able to get over in front of a WWE audience. John Cena also shares that same mindset.
When AJ Styles signed with WWE in January of last year, everyone wanted to see him step inside the ring with John Cena immediately. However, Cena was out of action due to a shoulder injury at the time, so it took them a couple of months to set the match up. But, when they did, it was a pretty big deal.
As of this writing, Cena and Styles have had three one-on-one matches together, and they clearly have fantastic chemistry with each other. The best of the three matches happened at last month’s Royal Rumble show, where Cena defeated Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. But, what we didn’t see is Cena’s apology to Styles after the match.
During a recent interview with ESPN, Cena told former WWE commentator Jonathan Coachman that he apologized to Styles following their classic match.
“[AJ Styles] has pushed the envelope by speaking his mind, by challenging me. It’s no secret, I am getting a bit older, and just as AJ went through a long struggle to become a member of the WWE universe, there’s a lot of folks maybe within the WWE who think that I’m past my prime, and that I’ve lost a step, which creates a giant chip on this here shoulder. I wanna showcase to everybody watching that I’m still at my best, and it’s truly a testament to AJ Styles. I said after the [Royal Rumble], I told [AJ] that I was sorry, and that I was wrong about the way I viewed him. I think he is one of, if not the best WWE superstar who steps in a ring on a nightly basis.”
One of the biggest things in the build up to the third Cena vs. AJ match was when Cena completely dismissed AJ’s work on the independent scene, so perhaps there was a bit of reality in that promo.
It now looks like John Cena will be moving to a feud with The Miz and Maryse, which will lead to a mixed tag team match where Nikki Bella will team up with Cena to take on Miz and Maryse. Of course, things could change. But that’s the plan as of right now. Also, both Cena and Nikki are expected to take time off following the WrestleMania 33 mixed tag match.
As for AJ Styles, Cageside Seats has reported that he’ll be in a one-on-one match with Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 33, and that their feud will begin next week following the number one contender’s battle royal. Originally, Shane was going to take on Brock Lesnar on April 2, but things changed when Goldberg agreed to do more than just one match.
For now, it looks like Cena and AJ are going their separate ways, but they’ll almost certainly meet again at some point in the future.
There are still a ton of other dream opponents for AJ Styles, the biggest of which is Randy Orton, who could walk out of WrestleMania 33 as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. So, we could see The Phenomenal One challenge the Apex Predator following WWE’s biggest show of the year.
[Featured Image by WWE]