Though it's been a minute since they shared the ring together, when Grayson Waller brought out AJ Styles as the first guest on his The Grayson Waller Effect, it's like the duo have been squaring off for years, with no love gained since their first segment together on RAW back in 2021.
And yet, of all to people Styles wanted to shoot on, Waller wasn't public enemy number one. No, that honor, if you want to call it that, belonged to Seth Rollins, “The Phenomenal One's” forthcoming opponent at Night of Champions in Saudi Arabia.
Sitting at the desk in front of a collection of fans largely unfamiliar with the typical format of The Grayson Waller Effect, Styles decided to take a shot at Rollins for spending his time filming for the new Captain American movie, instead of focusing on what really matters, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
“Well first, let me say this,” Styles began. “These past couple months, I’ve been out with an injury; it was the longest I have ever been out of the ring in my career. So all I could think about was getting back in it. So when I got cleared, all I did was get after it. I trained so hard, you’ve never seen someone train as hard as me.
“Because I knew at some point there would be an opportunity and here it is, an opportunity to be the World Heavyweight Champion. And I want it more than the air that I breath. But Seth Rollins is on a movie set and I am happy for him, I’m so happy for him, that’s great but surely he’s exercising, doing a little bit of training so that he can be ready because I assure you, as the heart that is beating in my chest, I am.”
Though it has yet to actually impact WWE television, as Rollins filmed a long-form interview with Corey Graves that has been parsed up into segments on the last and next edition of RAW, “The Visionary's” decision to take a part, presumably nothing too big, in the forthcoming installment of Kevin Feige's long-running Marvel Cinematic Universe has been highly contentious, with some suggesting that it could cost him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Will that actually happen? Only time will tell, but one person who can guarantee the new title doesn't go back to The Brave and The Black is Styles, as securing a win in Saudi Arabia would be #TooSweet.
AJ Styles is excited to be back in the World Championship picture.
After being out of action for the entirety of 2023 following a late 2022 ankle injury at a house show in Hershey, Pennsylvania, AJ Styles has rapidly found himself not only back in action as part of WWE but thrust into the World Championship picture once more, afforded a chance to wrestle for one of the top two titles in the promotion for the first time since he challenged for the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber in February of 2022.
Asked what it's like to be thrust right back into the title picture following a five-month absence on a recent appearance on Inside the Ropes, Styles noted that he's ready to do what he needs to do.
“I feel the same as you. It’s about time I’m back in the heavyweight title picture,” Styles said via 411 Mania. “Unfortunately, I’m up against Seth Rollins, who’s probably one of the best. I said it a long ago that he’s gonna be great, and nothing has changed. He’s still one of the best, no doubt about it, so we’ll see what happens.”
Asked how it felt to wrestle not one but two matches in his in-ring return to get to this point, facing off against three of the top talents in the promotion, Styles noted while he was a bit worried about the outcome, he's happy he made it work.
“Oh, you’re gonna be in two matches your first time back in the ring with WWE,” Styles added. “Oh, that’s great, because that’s where I wanted to be. Who knows where my cardio is at this point? It’s a bit worrisome, but I made it through, and now for my first biggest match in the WWE [since I returned], it’s gonna be against Seth Rollins in Jeddah. So yeah, no pressure.”
After overcoming the odds on that fateful night, AJ Styles finds himself one win away from adding an eighth WWE Championship to his first-ballot Hall of Fame career. Securing that win, however, is a whole lot easier said than done, as Seth Rollins, regardless of the form, is a hard opponent to overcome.