AJ Styles Reflects On Recent Injury Struggles

AJ Styles celebrates with The O.C.

Back in December 2022, AJ Styles broke his ankle taking a routine bump over the top rope during a match at a live event.

The injury was not only the first significant time that the star had ever missed through injury, but meant that he was forced to watch the Royal Rumble from the sidelines. Styles made his return to WWE television during the Draft when he and the rest of The O.C. were selected by SmackDown.

Speaking in a new interview with the Daily Mail, Styles reflected on how the injury came about and his road back to the ring. The former World Champion explained as soon as the injury occurred he knew it was serious.

“It was a simple thing, something I’ve done a million times and usually it happens the same. I was taking a backdrop, and I could have hit my back on the apron a little bit, but in that couple of seconds of landing on the outside my ankle, depending on the mat and where it was, turned in on me and snapped. I knew right when I did it, it was one of those things, it was like ‘I’m done’. As far as rehab is concerned, as soon as I’m able to rehab, I’m on rehab and it’s crazy how being in a boot for a while you forget how to there are certain things we take for granted – like walking and running and jumping.”

The SmackDown star added that he went for another MRI because he was in so much pain, but the problem was quickly fixed.

“It’s like my body had to rehab that, I actually went for another MRI because I thought something wasn’t right. But they said the reason why it’s hurting so bad is because there’s so much inflammation. Once I realized that and that I wasn’t going to tear or rip anything I got after it because I wanted to get better. I was able to focus on jumping and running and stuff like that and it was like overnight it changed. Once you tell your brain you can do it, you can. It was really that simple once I realized I could put forward my best effort.”

AJ Styles Bidding To Become World Heavyweight Champion

Incredibly, AJ Styles’ first match back of any kind was the semi-final Triple Threat Match in the World Heavyweight Title tournament. On the May 12th episode of SmackDown, Styles overcame Edge and Rey Mysterio before getting the better of Bobby Lashley in the main event.

These two wins set up a clash with Seth Rollins at Night of Champions, with the winner crowned World Heavyweight Champion.