WWE Superstar “The Phenomenal” A.J. Styles recently spoke to Rolling Stone.
Are you surprised at how quickly you were moved into WWE’s main event scene? Did you think it would take a little longer to get to this point?
I think it’s a surprise to everyone, to be honest with you. I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t surprised. I was hopeful – I thought eventually I’d be in the main event because I have that kind of drive, but to be here so quickly, you don’t expect that. But at the end of the day you have to give the people what they want, and they seem to like what I’m doing out here in WWE. You can’t write a better way to put yourself over, and it makes me want to work hard and maintain where I’m at.
You and Roman have put together a series of really great matches over the last couple months. He’s a divisive star, to say the least, but do you think a lot of fans underestimate him?
Absolutely. I think he’s a better athlete than a lot of people realize. He should get a lot more credit for his athleticism. He’s unbelievable, he can do a lot of stuff. I think he’s been able to showcase that with me. We’re doing something right – I don’t think people gave Roman a chance; in fact. I think a lot of fans jumped on the bandwagon when someone started booing, instead of taking the chance to see what he could do in the ring.
You’re 38 – have you given any thought to retirement?
No. I know that retirement will be in a couple years. I don’t know how many a couple is at this point, but the ultimate goal is the opportunity to retire [and then] do something else you’re interested in. There’s a lot of guys who have retired and went into podcasts or TV shows, so there’s other things out there. But also you want to spend time with your family, because when you’re in WWE you’re gonna work for your money, and I expect to do that. But that means you’ll be on the road a little more and might miss some things at home, but you get to make that up by retiring and being with them 24/7 – which might annoy them to a certain degree [laughs].
Do you see yourself staying involved with the WWE once your in-ring career is over?
I was pleasantly surprised at how everything works here. Everything is so professional and I want to be part of something like that, whether it’d be training or being an agent. I think that’s right up my alley. That’s one of the things I thought about when I came here – the future outside of the ring. I would be excited to do something like that.