After suffering a broken ankle in Hershey, Pennsylvania, during WWE’s Live Holiday Tour back in December, the “Phenomenal” former leader of The Bullet Club, A.J. Styles, is back in WWE, and, after an impressive showing in his return to the ring on the first day of the 2023 WWE Draft, he’s ready to return to “The House that AJ Styles Built,” SmackDown, on Friday Nights moving forward. Sitting down with Kayla Braxton, Matt Camp, and the rest of the crew on The Bump, Styles explained what it’s like to return not only from a five-month break but back on the Blue Brand consistently for the first time since 2020.
“Well, I feel great,” Styles said. “And listen, SmackDown is my home. I always said that it was the house that AJ Styles built, now, I may have redone it a little bit, I don’t know if I built it, but it is nice to be home.”
Asked by Kayla Braxton what it was like to recover from a broken ankle, Styles noted that it wasn’t fun, declaring a new-found hatred for crutches.
“Well I know this, I don’t ever want to be in a boot again or use crutches again,” Styles added. “They’re terrible, no person should be allowed to have to do that, so I have a lot more sympathy for people who are on crutches, and I hated it. I hated not being able to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. It annoyed me to no end, so it was agony to me.”
Since joining WWE in 2016, Styles has found incredible success on SmackDown, winning the Intercontinental championship on the brand once in 2020 and becoming a two-time WWE World Champion while wrestling for the Blue Brand from 2016-18. While only time will tell if this new run lives up to Styles’ expectations, with “The Phenomenal One” declaring he wants every member of The OC to secure championship gold, it’s safe to say working in the ring with Mia Yim and The Good Brothers is more fun than walking around on crutches back in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
AJ Styles answers fan questions from the WWE Universe.
Taking questions from the WWE Universe before his appearance on The Bump came to an end, AJ Styles was first asked about appearing in a match on WWF Jackked all the way back in January of 2002, which technically marked his first match within the WWE Universe as a whole.
“Well that was Hurricane Helms who I got in the ring with, and we had a fantastic match,” Styles said. “Now I’ve known Shane for a while, before he got to the WWE so he’s very generous in the fact that we had a great match. We had time to put a little effort in there and had a good time with it and I believe that’s the last time someone took the Vertabreaker.”
Styles was then asked about one of his many signature moves, the Calf Crusher, and how it came about. Much like with many moves in professional wrestling, its genesis came from some good old-fashioned roughhousing with his older brothers.
“Calf Crusher? Well it is an MMA move, it’s called the Calf Slicer. It is legit, it hurts very bad,” Styles noted. “My two older brothers are in Brazilian Ju Jitsu and they literally put this on me and I was like ‘how do I not know this’ as a move, because I did wrestling in high school and college, so it was just one of those things. How did I not know about this? But it was easy to put on, easy to make people scream, and it kind of worked out for me.”
And last but not least, Styles was asked about what vehicle he would love to take down to the ring should he be allowed to have a flamboyant, The Undertaker-style return to the ring.
“Wow, that’s a good question,” Styles said. “I’ve always wanted to find a way to bring my motorcycle, I think I got to do it one time, so I’m kind of a motorcycle guy. I haven’t been able to ride in quite a while because I don’t know, as a WWE performer, you don’t get to do anything that much because you’re busy working but I’d have to think on that. I don’t know what it would be that I would take down to the ring. But first thought would be, and not your typical motorcycle, not a chopper, I’m not The Undertaker, but I will take a crotch rocket and take it down.”
Would you like to see Styles fly down to the ring on a “crotch rocket” at some point down the line? Well, after watching The Undertaker ride off into the sunset at the end of The Boneyard March at WrestleMania 36, Styles may want to ride his own bike down to the ring, even if he prefers the “crotch rocket” over a more traditional chopper.
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