Just over 3 days out from the ROH 13th Anniversary Pay-Per-View, IWGP Champion AJ Styles joined the Chad Dukes Wrestling Show Thursday afternoon to discuss a number of topics. From ROH’s recent talent infusion, the Bullet Club in Ring of Honor, his opponent Sunday ACH, the return of Samoa Joe, the Styles Clash controversy, smart marks, the growth of New Japan in the states, and much more.
Much has been made in the past few days about the return to Samoa Joe, a name Styles is intimately familiar with, to the ROH ring. Not only are fans around the country excited but his former opponent is pumped for his return.
“Joe coming back to Ring of Honor is huge. He and I talked before he released his statement but I was excited about him maybe having the opportunity for him to come back to Ring of Honor because it’s exciting to have a guy who you know works hard and can do unbelievable things and has a history at Ring of Honor. I’m excited to see the welcome he gets when he comes back, not just from the guys in the back, because I know they will welcome him, but from the fans waiting on him.”
AJ Styles own return to Ring of Honor in 2014 was the beginning of a recent talent influx of wrestlers with national credibility joining or returning to the company, in names like Alberto El Patron, Matt Sydal, and Christopher Daniels. Dukes asked Styles about Ring of Honor stepping up their game with these signings and giving the fans an alternative to WWE.
I think they’re trying. You don’t want to move too fast, you start to move fast and you make holes that cost you your company. I think they’re doing the right thing in bringing in these guys, giving these dream matches that people want to see. To me it’s not taking a step back, it’s actually going somewhere having fun and having great matches.
In addition to the national names Ring of Honor has signed they’ve developed an up and coming roster of young talent. One such name making his mark in the company is Styles’ opponent for this Sunday, ACH.
He’s unbelievable. This guy, while he may be not the tallest guy in the world, this guy is a fit kid. He’s over 200lbs and he can fly at the same time. He’s an unbelievable talent and I’m excited to get the opportunity to get in the ring and wrestle with him. I think we’re gonna put on a great show. When I heard that this match was gonna happen I was excited.
In the past year, there has been a controversy over several incidents involving injuries to opponents on the receiving end of the Styles Clash, one of Styles’ finishing maneuvers. Colleagues like Doc Gallows & Samoa Joe have come out in support of the safety of Styles’ maneuver and while Styles had his own defense of the move he also seemed to have no issue adjusting his moveset should an opponent feel uncomfortable taking the Clash.
“The one thing I can’t control is your head, that’s up to you, and there’s only one thing you can’t do in the move is tuck it. There’s no reason for you to do that.”
“At the end of the day if they don’t want to take it I have no problem not doing the Styles Clash, there are other things that I can do. But if the promoter wants it and everybody’s cool with it that’s what we’re gonna do.”
AJ Styles faces ACH Sunday in Las Vegas, NV on PPV and Tomasso Ciampa March 7th in Baltimore, MD. For information on ordering the PPV and tickets to upcoming ROH shows visit ROHWrestling.com.
Thank you to AJ Styles for his time today! Be sure to follow him on Twitter @AJStylesORG.