AJ Styles lost to Cody Rhodes at Clash at The Castle last week, but WWE clearly have big plans for him as he is set to compete at NOAH’s Destination event next month and now the reason for AJ Styles being chosen for the match has been revealed.

As previously reported, Pro Wrestling NOAH and WWE announced that AJ Styles will face off against Naomichi Marufuji at NOAH Destination 2024 on July 13 at Budokan Hall and fans are hyped for the match for good reason.

While speaking to Tokyo Sports, Cyberfight Director Narihiro Takeda, who oversees the organization, talked about the negotiation process between WWE and NOAH. He stated that participation in the show were done through ABEMA, the internet television network that broadcasts shows for both promotions.

Takeda mentioned that after receiving a positive response to Shinsuke Nakamura and Keiji Mutoh’s match at NOAH’s New Year Show last year, negotiations began for a similar bout at the same venue. WWE also recognized that participating in NOAH could enhance their visibility in Japan.


”We got a positive response, so we were able to talk.”

Takeda personally nominated AJ, despite his lack of prior affiliation with NOAH. He justified this decision by suggesting that WWE’s fanbase might appreciate AJ’s potential to uphold WWE’s image while still being a dream match for Japanese fans after Shinsuke Nakamura.

“The WWE Universe (fans) wouldn’t want the WWE worldview to be destroyed, and WWE performances in Japan come as a package, but the next wrestler Japanese fans can dream of being apart from WWE is AJ after Shinsuke Nakamura.”

On the other side, Marufuji was nominated by WWE as AJ’s opponent. Takeda believed Marufuji was the obvious choice due to his prominence in America and status as a Japanese legend, bolstered by NOAH’s presence with their PPVs in the US.

“It was like there was only one choice. If there’s a Noah wrestler who’s well-known in America, it’s got to be Marufuji. He’s a Japanese legend. I think it also has to do with the fact that there are PPVs (for Noah) over there.”

NOAH recently announced plans to strengthen ties with WWE, with Takeda hinting at further developments to enhance their relationship. Fans can anticipate more surprise appearances by international superstars in future events.

“There is still a lot more to be done regarding strengthening our relationship. We can look forward to more surprise appearances by superstars in the future.

This matchup between Styles and Marufuji will likely lead to even more collaborations between WWE and Pro Wrestling NOAH in the future, should the match become a success. Therefore, we will have to wait and see how the match will be received by fans and critics alike.

Do you feel the match will live up to expectations? Let us know in the comments section below!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet, a professional wrestling fan for over 20+ years, found his passion during the Monday Night Wars. With expertise honed over decades and a broad spectrum of interests including TV, movies, anime, novels, and music, he offers insightful analysis and coverage. Respected in the industry, Subhojeet keeps fans informed and engaged with his knowledge and perspective.

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