AJ Styles recently recalled a brief encounter he had with ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin upon his arrival to WWE, with the ‘Texas Rattlesnake’ offering some minor criticism.
Prior to his WWE debut in 2016, AJ Styles had built a legacy for himself as one of the top professional wrestlers in all of sports entertainment. A mainstay in TNA, Styles would spend over a decade with the company, becoming one of the brands’ home grown talents.
Upon leaving TNA in 2014, Styles would pop up all over the wrestling map, from the independent circuit, to Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Following months of speculation, Styles would finally make his WWE debut during the Royal Rumble match in 2016, to a tremendous ovation from the live crowd in Orlando, FL.
During a recent interview with country artist Cody Jinks, Styles recalled a conversation he had with WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin, during which ‘Stone Cold’ would offer some advice:
“To get the opportunity to get little tidbits from Stone Cold, even the little things. For instance, one of the things he told me was ‘Hey man, your jacket. Your ring jacket. [There’s] almost too much going on.’ When I first got there. And I said ‘Okay, what do you think?’
Literally within weeks it was changed. And I don’t think he was wrong in what he was saying. It worked, kind of less is more. It’s the little things that help you get to where you’re at today.”
Steve Austin is also known for his iconic ring jackets. During his time as ‘The Texas RattleSnake’, Austin’s iconic black leather vests, adorned with a giant skull, would also have lettering such as SOB (Son of a bitch), DTA (Don’t trust anyone) and, for his last match at WrestleMania 19, OMR (One more round).
Many of AJ Styles’ ring jackets contain small Easter eggs in relation to his previous work prior to WWE. Several jackets contain bullet holes, along with Japanese lettering that translates to ‘Club’, both of which are a nod to Styles time as leader of legendary NJPW stable, Bullet Club.
Credit for Interview: A Couple In with Cody Jinks