AJ STYLES has revealed that WWE chief Vince McMahon was not impressed with his Royal Rumble debut.
The Phenomenal One stunned the wrestling world when he showed up at the over-the-top rope extravaganza back in 2016.
Fans had feared the 43-year-old would never make his way to WWE following a standout career on the independent scene.
Styles was hailed for one of the most impressive debuts in the history of the company as he debuted at the 2016 Rumble.
Yet the Intercontinental Champion admitted WWE CEO McMahon didn’t share the same reactions as fans at first.
Speaking on his weekly Twitch stream Styles revealed that the billionaire thought that the standing ovation he received at the Rumble was a fluke.
The reaction that I got at the Royal Rumble 2016 was awesome, it was amazing, but Vince didn’t really believe that – [he thought] that it was a fluke, basicallyAJ Styles
He said: “The reaction that I got at the Royal Rumble 2016 was awesome, it was amazing, but Vince didn’t really believe that – [he thought] that it was a fluke, basically.”
“That’s what he thought it was. I wasn’t even going to be on RAW the next day, but they convinced him otherwise.”
Styles later opened up on the moment McMahon's opinion of him changed that allowed him to forge a path towards being WWE Champion.
He told Dirtfork: “I don’t even think I was supposed to be on Raw that next Monday.
“But the turning point where Vince really saw something in me was when I had a regular match, a babyface match, went out and did my thing.
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“I came back to gorilla and Vince says, ‘Come here for a second. I’ve got other guys who can do exactly what you just did out there. You didn’t do anything special. I need a pit bull. I need a guy who just attacks. I need a guy who gets after it.’”
“I said, ‘Well, I know that guy. I know exactly who that guy is’ and there was the opportunity to be on Miz TV and I handled it just like I was ready to eat this guy’s lunch and basically, I think the way that turned out was the turning point for Vince.
“That was the turning point. That’s when things changed and that’s how I became the A.J. Styles that you know now.”