AJ Styles recently spoke with ESPN.com to promote WWE 2K17. Here are the highlights.
ESPN: Let’s talk about WWE 2K17 for a little bit. I think it’s pretty cool, at least for somebody who’s followed your career, that in 2016 in a WWE video game you can have AJ Styles face Samoa Joe. What is that like for you, considering all the different places both of your careers have been?
AJ: It’s pretty neat. I remember Joe telling me when he signed with WWE, and how cool I thought it was that my buddy is going to come in and make a difference, and I knew he would. Then he makes it in time to be in the game this year, which was unbelievable. I don’t know how many people made me in 2K16, but I’ve seen a lot of different AJ Styles, and the fact that they don’t have to do it this year I’m sure is a relief to them. It’s just really neat being a part of it all, man.
ESPN: In terms of some of the guys who you faced prior to signing with WWE, like a Joe, like a Nakamura, how much are you looking forward to the opportunity to showcasing those kinds of matches for a WWE audience in the future?
AJ: Absolutely, I am. I mean, the chemistry I have with both those guys, and other guys that are coming up through NXT or a part of NXT, it’s kind of one of those things where you can’t rush it. But all this stuff is gonna eventually happen. We just have to be patient.
ESPN: As the WWE World Champion, you are playing a pretty massive role in what’s going on in Smackdown Live right now, where everything’s been very well received. For you in particular, we have as our No. 1 in our Power Rankingsand we’re certainly not alone. What is it like to have your work recognized and your level of performance recognized to the degree it has since you joined WWE?
AJ: It’s huge. That’s what you work for, is to be recognized. It’s nice to know that the hard work that you’ve put in all these years is finally getting the, I don’t want to say praise, but you know. I busted my tail for so long, I’m just glad it’s getting recognized now as part of the WWE. Because let’s face it, the WWE is the biggest company out there when it comes to wrestling. I’m just happy that I’m being recognized as somebody who works hard, I guess.