AJ Styles Says He Won't Be At WWE Royal Rumble 2016

Was he being honest or mischievous? Watch our exclusive interview and decide for yourself...

By far the biggest talk among the wrestling landscape for the past two weeks has been WWE's apparent raid of New Japan Pro Wrestling talents AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. Even WWE.com, who surely wouldn't tease something they wouldn't deliver, have written more than one article about the rumour of the four men coming to the biggest wrestling organisation on the planet. At this point, there's barely any reason to doubt that they have offers on the table and that they will either sign, or have already signed to come to WWE. The bigger question has been just where and when the individuals will make their presence known. As suggested by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, "big surprises" are expected for next Sunday's WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view, with the clear hint being that at least a few of the apparent new signings will make their debut there. No doubt the most interesting name for North American wrestling fans is AJ Styles. For over a decade now, he has probably been the American wrestler that has shone brightest without needing WWE to get himself over. He was the flagship star of TNA at the height of their interest level and in more recent years has conquered Japan as probably the biggest star not contracted by WWE. In likely his first major interview since the rumours broke of him coming to WWE, WhatCulture caught up with AJ Styles backstage at 5* Wrestling's show in Newcastle this past Wednesday, where he was competing in the main event of the night. We asked him whether he would be free for bookings on January 24th... the night of the Royal Rumble.... and he responded, with a slight smirk on his face, "sure". A mischievous response from a man who can't say anything about his imminent future? Watch for yourself below and decide... the question starts at around the 6.35 mark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?a=&feature=youtu.be&v=5T7Td1f1Rp0&app=desktop

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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.