During his time on the Monday Night Raw roster, AJ Styles apparently made a positive impact on some of the red brand’s younger talents, offering them some valuable advice on how to survive the ups and downs of being a mid-card performer. This was among the main takeaways from the recent Friday Night SmackDown acquisition’s appearance earlier this week on WWE announcer Corey Graves’ podcast, After the Bell.
On Thursday’s episode of After the Bell (via Wrestling Inc.), Styles discussed several topics with Graves, mostly centering on the four years he’s spent with WWE as one of the company’s top performers. When asked about whether he’s given advice to anyone in the locker room, “The Phenomenal One” talked about what he previously told then-Raw colleagues Cedric Alexander and Ricochet and how he encouraged the pair to stay positive no matter what the creative team has in store for them.
“[I told them that] ‘it may not be in WWE that I’ve been where you’re at right now because sometimes you don’t know where you’re going, what direction they have you go in. You have no idea what’s going on, but it is a roller coaster ride, and you just have ride it and see where it takes you, but if you’re positive and have a good work ethic, then it will benefit you in the long run. You just got to stay at it.'”
Styles concluded by stressing the importance of having a good attitude, adding that if a wrestler’s attitude “turns sour,” that could have an adverse effect on their in-ring performance.
— WWE (@WWE) May 23, 2020
As reported in March by WrestlingNews.co, rumors around that time suggested that WWE chairman Vince McMahon had seemingly given up on Ricochet, considering how quickly he lost in his WWE Championship match against Brock Lesnar at the Super ShowDown pay-per-view and how he later lost to Riddick Moss in a match for the 24/7 Championship. This came months after McMahon reportedly expressed similar feelings about Alexander after a period where he got more exposure on Monday Night Raw and briefly feuded with Styles over the U.S. title.
Although Alexander and Ricochet remain far removed from title contention on Raw, both men have recently formed a partnership and have occasionally been used in tag team matches on the red brand’s show.
As for Styles, his move to SmackDown earlier this month has seen him advance to the second round of the tournament for the vacant Intercontinental Championship. Per WWE’s website, he is scheduled to face Elias in second-round action on this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown.