Despite his continued status as one of the top heels on Monday Night Raw, AJ Styles was eliminated earlier than expected in the titular main event of Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Reports suggest that this was due to an injury he suffered right before he was thrown off the top rope for the elimination.
As first reported by PWInsider, Styles was apparently injured after he took a spear from Edge, who ended up as the third-to-last wrestler eliminated from the men’s Royal Rumble match in his big return following a nine-year retirement. Separately, WrestlingNews.co noted that Styles was seemingly trying to sell the move and make it look as “devastating” as possible, only for him to make an awkward landing on his left shoulder. Once he was back up on his feet, he was holding up his left arm, which, per the former publication, appeared to be “dangling.”
At that point, the “Phenomenal One” reportedly signaled to the other wrestlers in the ring, asking them to go easy on him due to his injury.
After Styles notified Edge that he was hurt, the “Rated-R Superstar” proceeded to eliminate the former WWE Champion from the men’s Royal Rumble. At that point in the match, his fellow stablemates in The OC — Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson — were still in the ring, according to Cageside Seats‘ recap. The former two-time Raw Tag Team Champions weren’t much longer for the Rumble, however, as they soon followed their leader out of the match after being thrown out by Edge and Randy Orton.
Following his elimination, Styles was checked out by WWE officials and was later spotted backstage icing his arm, which, as described by PWInsider, was “all wrapped up.”
A thing of beauty. #MensRumble
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) January 27, 2020
As of this writing, the severity of Styles’ injury remains unclear, and he has yet to publicly comment about the situation. However, it is expected that he will soon be undergoing tests to determine if he needs to miss any time to recover.
In the event Styles needs to take time off and heal from his apparent injury, there could be a chance he won’t be appearing on the red brand upon his return. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Monday Night Raw executive director Paul Heyman purportedly doesn’t have any big plans for the 42-year-old, which could lead to him being moved to Friday Night SmackDown — where he is said to be more comfortable than he is on Raw — at the next available opportunity.