January 2016 was when the WWE changed forever as AJ Styles made his WWE debut (or return, depending on how you feel about his first run) at the Royal Rumble as the number three entrant.
Since then, he's gone from an outsider to the face that runs the place on SmackDown Live, consistently putting on five-star matches to keep up his status as one of the best wrestlers in the world and one of the best superstars in the company.
However, there is one thing he wish he had done before making his debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble, before making his mark in the WWE.
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During an interview with Inside the Ropes, The Phenomenal One said he wished he had spent some time down in NXT before coming onto the main roster shows, saying he is very jealous of the performers that come up to Monday Night RAW and SmackDown Live from the developmental division.
Styles said, according to EWrestlingNews: “Well I gotta tell you, I’m very jealous of the performers who’ve come up through NXT. They are like family. They know each other by their given names, their birth names. And so when they talk about each other I’m like ‘Who is that? Who are you talking to?’ So I’m like ‘Don’t call them by their birth name, call them by their WWE name.’
"So I’m jealous of that, they have that family atmosphere, that’s the great thing about NXT. And I’ve said this also, back in – you know, way back then, years and years ago, there were people getting stabbed in the back so others can climb to the top. That’s not the way it’s done in NXT because you can actually care about the guy across from you.
"You know them, you know what they went through, you see them train, you’ve seen how hard they work. So you have a passion for each other and love man, so you want to see them do well. They love each other, and I think that’s the most important thing in the WWE right now. I’ve seen guys work so hard together because they love each other like family.
"They see how hard each other has worked through NXT and made their way finally to the main roster. I think that’s really important. For WWE alone. When you got some of the guys I care about most in this business, my best friends, are the guys I have the best matches with. That hopefully never changes in the WWE, because of NXT.”
Would you have liked to see AJ Styles compete in NXT? Have YOUR say in the comments section below and the third episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here! Check it out via this link. https://soundcloud.com/user-818579649/gms-wwe-podcast-all-the-fallout-from-wwe-payback
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