In the past couple of years, a lot has changed for WWE champion AJ Styles.
The Phenomenal One was once the face of TNA, but his brand sky-rocketed to new heights when he helped form The Bullet Club over in Japan.
However, the 39-year-old finally made it to the WWE some 14 years after his original flirt with the company and debuted to a raucous reception at the 2016 Royal Rumble.
Conversely, former Intercontinental champion Ryback left the company this year after objecting to how the WWE was using his character and he has been trying to kick-start his personal brand ever since.
On top of penning a motivational book and taking lucrative independent bookings, Ryback also hosts his own podcast entitled 'Conversation with The Big Guy'.
One of the more controversial stories Ryback has revealed from his time in the WWE concerned when AJ Styles arrived in the company and specifically, what Vince McMahon had in store for him.
Ryback quoted McMahon as saying he would “squash that little twerp," but Styles went on to have a stellar match with Chris Jericho while Ryback lost a United States championship match to Kalisto on the preshow.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, Styles had an interesting response for Ryback and McMahon and he rejected claims that the WWE would punish him for being a former TNA talent.
"I don't think TNA talent has anything to do with it," Styles insisted. "I think what Ryback may have said may have been true - at that time. I don't think Vince knew exactly what he had in AJ Styles and I think his opinion of me changed somewhat quickly. And that's ok, that's what I've been doing my whole life: changing the way people feel about me and what I'm capable of.
"It is what it is; I'm not mad at Ryback or anything like that. If it was said, it was said, and I'm not mad at Vince McMahon. Like I said, opinions vary and they change."
Styles has had a tremendously entertaining and successful run in the WWE thus far and the fact that he has beaten John Cena three times in a row goes a long way to suggesting that Vince McMahon has seen the light with the Phenomenal One.
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