It’s been a weird 2020 for AJ Styles. The two-time WWE Champion started the year off getting injured at the Royal Rumble. He then got punked out by the Undertaker not once, not twice, but three times (with the third time also doubling as his first boning). Maybe AJ just wasn’t meant to be on Monday Night Raw.
Styles, who is a ghost, recently appeared on Corey Graves’ After The Bell podcast where he not only discussed his feelings regarding his trade to Smackdown, but the loss of his O.C. stablemates Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, who were among the massive roster cuts WWE made in April, despite having just re-signed big contracts in mid-2019:
“I think they’re doing a good job [on Smackdown], so I’m excited about that. Doing something different is good for me. I needed a change. Losing Gallows and Anderson really hurt me. Getting away from Raw helps me get over it — I don’t know if I’ll get over it, but it helps change the atmosphere around me and to do something different. My whole time on Raw was basically with them. To get away from that and get to SmackDown, where I’ve had a lot of success, it’s a good thing.
“I brought their names to WWE and when they got released, I immediately felt responsible for them because I helped them get here and I wanted them to stay. I thought, if I hadn’t encouraged them to stay maybe they wouldn’t be behind right now. A lot of it fell on me and I felt like I let them down. I talked to them about this and I was just crushed. I’m the oldest and I didn’t take care of them. That really bothered me. And it still does.”
To their credit, Gallows and Anderson seem to be taking their releases in stride, promising a tell-all episode of their Talk’n Shop podcast dropping the day their non-compete clause ends, on July 18.