For the past two weeks on Raw, AJ Styles has been accompanied to the ring by a gigantic new bodyguard, who has assisted him in scoring victories over Matt Riddle and Jeff Hardy.
The man in question is former basketball star Jordon Omogbehin, who has previously appeared on WWE television as Akira Tozawa’s super-sized ninja and as the Raw Underground bouncer.
The bodyguard has not been named as Jordan Omogbehin in his two appearances thus far, with WWE.com instead referring to him as “AJ Styles’ new friend” and his “towering new associate”.
The announcers on Raw did not mention Omogbehin’s name either, instead repeatedly calling him The Associate.
This constant reinforcing of the branding The Associate strongly suggests that this will be Omogbehin’s permanent name going forward, which was later confirmed by Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer Radio.
Changing the names of wrestlers when they are called up to the main roster is hardly a new practice in WWE. Recently, four members of Retribution (Dominik ‘T-Bar’ Dijakovic, Shane ‘Slapjack’ Thorne, Dio ‘Mace’ Maddin and Mia ‘Reckoning’ Yim) were given new handles and several others have experienced tweaks to their names over the years, typically the dropping of a forename (Rusev, Cesaro, Neville, Ali, etc).
See what AJ Styles and The Associate get up to on Raw every week by following our live coverage every Monday night.