AJ Styles entered WWE after spending a career outside of Vince McMahon’s company. He had an idea about what they wanted him to be, but they soon cleared that up for him.
During After The Bell, AJ Styles opened up about his first experiences in WWE after signing his contract. He revealed something that Vince McMahon told him backstage that not only gave him great direction, but also let him know what WWE expected.
“When I had my first match I think it was against Curtis Axel, and he had a couple other guys with him — Vince brought me to the back and he said, ‘I’ve got guys who can do what you do. I’ve got guys that can do that. I’ve got guys who can do what you did out there. What i need, I need this pitbull — that’s what I need!'”
“I was like, ‘Oh, I know that guy! I was trying to be what I thought a babyface is supposed to be in WWE.’ When he told me that now it was like ‘Okay I can be this guy who just wants to eat freaking people alive.'”
AJ Styles then revealed that it all came to a head when he was told before a Miz TV segment that “you really gotta put it on him.” Styles went out there and showed the intensity that he needed to and “that’s what changed everything” for him in WWE.
Styles had a preconceived notion of what WWE wanted him to be when he came in. It didn’t take him long to figure out that they signed him to a contract because they wanted him and not a cookie cutter version of a WWE babyface.
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