WWE's Original Plan For AJ Styles' Debut Revealed

Vince McMahon changed his mind very late in the day on how it would go down.

The original plan for AJ Styles at the 2016 Royal Rumble was for Dean Ambrose to eliminate him. According to this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, this changed because of the deafening reaction The Phenomenal One received when he entered at number three. Having The Lunatic Fringe, one of the perennial babyfaces on the roster, eliminate someone as glaringly over as Styles was on the night was a huge risk. The crowd would have turned on Dean and completely altered the current landscape of WWE. Although, looking at the lack of a heel in the Fastlane Triple Threat main even with Ambrose, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, maybe Dean disposing of AJ would have been for the best. Kevin Owens - the undoubted king of the heels in the company at the moment - was the man to deliver the elimination, which only strengthened his cause to be a bonafide main event player. The former Intercontinental Champion shouted "welcome to the WWE" in the face of the former New Japan star before tossing him over the top rope in what will have been a very deliberate order by Vince McMahon. Chris Jericho and The Miz have attempted to humble and even belittle Styles on RAW and SmackDown since. Styles will not be on this weekend€™s WWE house shows because he needs to finish up with his independent commitments. He returns to WWE action at a Road to WrestleMania show in Fresno, CA on February 13.
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Video & written Content Producer for WhatCulture Wrestling. NCTJ trained journalist. BA Hons, Sports Journalism.