Vince McMahon Had “No Idea” Who Top WWE Star Was

Vince McMahon

It has often been said that Vince McMahon doesn’t watch wrestling outside of WWE and relies heavily on others to keep him in the loop on non-WWE matters.

To hammer that point home, AJ Styles has revealed that McMahon didn’t know who he was when he joined WWE in January 2016.

Styles made one of the most memorable debuts in recent memory when he walked out at number three in the Royal Rumble match. The star was coming off the back of a stellar run with NJPW which in turn came after he cemented his status as one of the top wrestlers in the world in TNA/IMPACT.

Despite all of that, in a new interview with Mark Andrews of My Love Letter to Wrestling, Styles said that McMahon had no idea who he was, and there were no plans for him on Raw the night after his debut. This led to him having a basic match on the show with Chris Jericho because that’s what he thought McMahon wanted.

“I’m not sure how I snuck in there. I think maybe the success of the BULLET CLUB helped for sure with maybe some of the (WWE) writers if they asked him, ‘What do you think about A.J. Styles?’ I don’t how it worked out but I can tell you this, Vince McMahon had no idea who I was. There’s no way because he had no plans for me after the Royal Rumble. I wasn’t supposed to be at Raw the next day.

Yeah, so he just thought it was a fluke that I got the pop that I did in Orlando and I didn’t need to be on TV but I was and I had a very basic match because I thought that Vince wanted to see a babyface be a babyface. He brung me back and he sat me down and I’m so grateful that he did, he says, ‘Listen, I got a thousand guys that can do what you do’ and I said, ‘Hmm.’ He goes, ‘I need a Pitbull’ and I go, ‘Oh, oh! I know that guy’ and that’s exactly the guy I was in New Japan and everywhere else.

So it was easy for me to come out and be that guy that he wanted to see and that’s when I think I gained his trust. Like okay, this guy sees my vision and is gonna go out there and show it and so, yeah, that’s the way that worked.”

Vince McMahon Allowed Star To Debut On One Unusual Condition

Vince McMahon also played a slightly unusual role in a different WWE debut. Speaking in a recent interview, Saraya recalled making her own debut on the main roster after finding success in NXT. The now-AEW star revealed that it was Triple H who pushed for her to be moved to the main roster, something McMahon was initially against. However, he eventually allowed her to debut on Raw, but only if she wore purple ring gear instead of her usual black.

H/t to POST Wrestling