In case you missed it, “The Face That Runs The Place” AJ Styles joined Chad Dukes Versus The World in preparation for his match with John Cena this past Sunday at the Royal Rumble.
While he didn’t leave the Rumble victorious, the Phenomenal One has had an excellent first calendar year in WWE. In the interview, Styles discussed what he’s learned during this year, his thoughts on John Cena, being the current face of SmackDown Live, NXT, and more. Most notably, in light of the questions surrounding the WWE Championship match for WrestleMania following the Royal Rumble, Styles discussed his dream opponent on the WWE roster.
Dukes: “You’ve been tied up with a couple of guys for a while. Who else on the roster are you eyeballing? Who’s somebody that you would like to work with?”
Styles: “Well, I think there’s that one person that everybody would like to see me work with, and that’s Randy Orton. Randy and I have yet to even touch in the ring, I don’t think I’ve hit him with anything, or he’s hit me. None of that’s ever happened. I think that’s gonna be something special when it does.”
As discussed earlier this week, this insight poses an interesting third option into the current “John Cena or Bray Wyatt” discussion in regards to who Orton will face at WrestleMania.
Listen to the full interview below and hit the jump for more quotes from the interview.
Thank you to AJ Styles for his time. You can follow him on Twitter @AJStylesOrg and catch him every Tuesday Night on SmackDown Live!
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Samoa Joe Debuts – WWE
Samoa Joe made his WWE main roster debut ambushing Seth Rollins on behalf of Triple H to close out last night’s Raw. I guess now we know why he was held out of the Royal Rumble.
CM Punk Talks Next Fight – PW Insider
In an interview with Fox Sports during NHL All-Star Weekend, CM Punk was asked about his fighting future. According to Punk, he has pitched opponents to Dana White speculated that White was waiting for a show in Chicago, and said regardless he wants to fight again in UFC or elsewhere.
Zayn and Owens Honor Quebec – With Spandex
ICYMI, Quebec natives Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens wore armbands to honor the victims of the Quebec city shooting Sunday Night during last night’s Raw broadcast.
Last night’s Royal Rumble match saw a somewhat surprise winner, outside of Vegas at least, as Randall Keith Orton punched his ticket to the main event of WrestleMania 34, leaving the wrestling world already speculating who he will face when WWE hits Orlando on April 2nd.
By virtue of his victory, Orton will be granted a championship match with Smackdown’s WWE World Heavyweight Champion, who as of press time is John Cena. In fact, WWE is already pushing the potential matchup on their website. While Cena and Orton have a certain chemistry and certainly could put on an entertaining contest, it just doesn’t have that WrestleMania shine after the duo has already faced each other in 19 television or PPV matches since 2004. Not to mention, triple threat matches, fatal four-way matches, tag matches… you get the idea, it’s well-worn territory. So with all due respect to both men: hard pass.
The name most bandied about in the aftermath of the Rumble last night has been Orton’s Wyatt Family partner Bray Wyatt. After casting Luke Harper out, Wyatt and Orton are a duo whose partnership could easily be fractured by the Eater of Worlds entering and winning next month’s Elimination Chamber for the WWE World Championship. The weeks of storytelling in the aftermath write themselves.
However, being burdened with glorious purpose, last night our own Chad Dukes remembered something now former WWE World Champion, AJ Styles said in his interview on Thursday’s Chad Dukes Versus The World about opponents he’d like to work with in the future.
Dukes: You’ve been tied up with a couple of guys for a while. Who else on the roster are you eyeballing? Who’s somebody that you would like to work with?
Styles: Well, I think there’s that one person that everybody would like to see me work with, and that’s Randy Orton. Randy and I have yet to even touch in the ring, I don’t think I’ve hit him with anything, or he’s hit me. None of that’s ever happened. I think that’s gonna be something special when it does.
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Royal Rumble Match: Randy Orton wins the Royal Rumble eliminating Roman Reigns
The Viper is back in the main event picture after winning a fun Royal Rumble with a number of amazing moments. From Jack Gallagher jumping off the top with an open umbrella, Baron Corbin shockingly eliminating Braun Strowman, Luke Harper turning on Bray Wyatt, Lesnar getting eliminated by Goldberg in quick fashion, to the Goldberg/Undertaker confrontation, what the match lacked in surprise entrants was made up for in theatrics. Once the match got down to the final four of Orton, Wyatt, Jericho, & Reigns, Jericho was the first to go via Reigns’ Superman Punch, followed by Wyatt being eliminated by Reigns. But, just when you thought we were on the verge of an Alamodome revolt, with Reigns winning for the second time in three years, Randy Orton hit an RKO and threw Reigns over the top.
The match was hurt slightly by the lack real surprise entrants and overall befuddlement at the inclusion of Roman Reigns at #30. As you know we’re not generally part of the crowd who consistently dumps all over Reigns’ in-ring ability here at CDW, but his entrance as the 30th competitor was an odd choice after the last two years of backlash directed at “The Big Dog” following his 2015 Royal Rumble win. If it were a troll job to set up Reigns turning into a black hat, I’d be more on board, but the refusal to move Cena from his “Never Give Up”/superhero persona has me skeptical if they’d ever pull the trigger on Reigns either.
Looking ahead, Randy Orton will now challenge whoever emerges from the Elimination Chamber as WWE World Champion. Leaders in the clubhouse are either John Cena (the new champion), AJ Styles (the former champion), or Bray Wyatt (the logical choice based on storylines). There were several other potential WrestleMania matches hinted at during the Rumble including, The Undertaker versus Roman Reigns, The Undertaker versus Goldberg, and Goldberg versus Brock Lesnar. We will surely find out what direction they are heading in the coming weeks.
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New TNA World Champion – Cageside Seats
Bobby Lashley regained the TNA World Championship last night on Impact Wrestling in a 30-minute Iron Man Match by a score of 3-2 over Eddie Edwards.
Kenny Omega Decision – With Spandex
Kenny Omega announced yesterday on Wrestling Observer Radio he will not be going to WWE but likely re-signing with New Japan Pro Wrestling on a multi-year deal. Omega conceded there is a chance the deal could fall through but that seems unlikely at this point. Be sure to come back Monday and tell me how wrong I was if he shows up in the Rumble!
Rumble 2018 Returns to Philly – Wrestling Observer
Because it went so great last time, WWE is bringing the Royal Rumble back to the City of Brotherly Love on Sunday January 28th, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center. The venue will also host an NXT TakeOver on Saturday, Raw on Monday, and SmackDown on Tuesday.