Vince McMahon is known not to watch much wrestling outside of WWE as his sole focus is his product, so from time to time there are stories of McMahon not knowing of top talent from other promotions.
One such name McMahon drew a blank on was AJ Styles who revealed that McMahon didn’t know who he was when he joined WWE in January 2016.
During a recent interview with Mark Andrews of My Love Letter to Wrestling, AJ Styles said that McMahon had no idea who he was. AJ explained:
“I’m not sure how I snuck in there. I think maybe the success of the BULLET CLUB helped for sure with maybe some of the (WWE) writers if they asked him, ‘What do you think about A.J. Styles?’ I don’t how it worked out but I can tell you this, Vince McMahon had no idea who I was. There’s no way because he had no plans for me after the Royal Rumble. I wasn’t supposed to be at Raw the next day.
Yeah, so he just thought it was a fluke that I got the pop that I did in Orlando and I didn’t need to be on TV but I was and I had a very basic match because I thought that Vince wanted to see a babyface be a babyface. He brung me back and he sat me down and I’m so grateful that he did, he says, ‘Listen, I got a thousand guys that can do what you do’ and I said, ‘Hmm.’ He goes, ‘I need a Pitbull’ and I go, ‘Oh, oh! I know that guy’ and that’s exactly the guy I was in New Japan and everywhere else.
So it was easy for me to come out and be that guy that he wanted to see and that’s when I think I gained his trust. Like okay, this guy sees my vision and is gonna go out there and show it and so, yeah, that’s the way that worked.”
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