In 2016, AJ Styles stepped foot in the WWE ring after spending more than a decade making a name for himself in TNA IMPACT Wrestling and NJPW. He was considered by many as the face of TNA. That same year, he made many fans’ dreams come true when he memorably feuded against John Cena, the face of the WWE. In a recent interview, Styles recalled being blown away by how good Cena is in the ring.

Ahead of the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia last Saturday, Styles appeared on the November 5th episode The Halftime Show. He looked back on facing Cena in the ring and revealed exactly why Cena surprised him.

“I’ve had a lot of tough opponents throughout my career. I will say that a guy that surprised me with how good he was in the ring would be John Cena. John is not known for being a technical mastermind in the ring, but he’s pretty good. I had some of my better matches against this guy.

In the eyes of Styles, Cena is more than meets the eye. Styles went on with his praise for Cena and recalled how he underestimated Cena in the ring.

I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into, there’s a little bit of everything. I had no idea. That’s one of those things where I had a lot to learn. Some guys may not look the part, but they definitely…. His mind for how everything needs to work and transition-wise. He’s just good. He knows what he’s doing. It’s one of those things were you thought, ‘I’m the superior wrestler in the ring,’ but once you get in there with John Cena, you realize, ‘Well, okay, I didn’t know that. Let’s keep going.’ He’s pretty good,” 

Styles performed at Crown Jewel where he took part in a 6-man tag team match between The OC (Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows) and The Judgment Day ( Damian Priest, Finn Balor, and Dominik Mysterio). The OC lost the match due to interference from Rhea Ripley, but that is far from the end of their story. As for John Cena, he might not be in WWE every week, but he’s far from invisible.

Were you always a believer in John Cena’s technical skills or has this been a revelation ? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below

Talha Asad Iqbal

A mechanical engineer who just loves everything wrestling. From spending his childhood collecting wrestling action figures to spending his adulthood writing about wrestling, he really seems to enjoy wrestling a bit too much. Outside wrestling and his work, he loves spending time in the gym and playing video games.

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