Joining WWE in 2016, AJ Styles made his long-awaited WrestleMania debut at the 32nd ‘Showcase of the Immortals’. He lost to Chris Jericho in an acclaimed encounter between two of the celebrated technical greats.
Previously promoted as the face of the then-Total Nonstop Action, the visual of AJ Styles walking down a WrestleMania aisle was almost too good to be true. ‘The Phenomenal One’ hasn’t missed a ‘Mania since, even walking into WrestleMania 34 as the defending WWE Champion vs. Shinsuke Nakamura.
“Cherish This” – Kevin Nash To AJ Styles
Someone who knows a thing or two about ‘The Grandest Stage of Them All’ made sure to pass on a piece of knowledge to AJ Styles ahead of his debut at the event, that being two-time WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Nash. Despite only wrestling twice on a WrestleMania stage, Nash did so once while as the defending WWF Champion, and the other time while challenging The Undertaker’s legendary streak.
As the legendary figure recalled on his Kliq This podcast, Kevin Nash gave AJ Styles some crucial advice ahead of one of the biggest moments of his career:
“I said, ‘Cherish this because one day you’re going to be my age knowing that you’re never going to get out there again, and you’ll wish to God that you savored this moment that you have right now’.”
AJ Styles has since wrestled a further six matches at WrestleMania, going 4-2 in the process. In victory, Styles defeated Shane McMahon, Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE Championship, Randy Orton, and The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods to win the Raw Tag Team Championships with Omos at ‘Manias 33, 34, 35, and 37, respectively.
His losses, outside of vs. Chris Jericho, came at WrestleMania 36 and 38; he was bested by The Undertaker and Edge on those occasions.