Why is A.J. Styles on next week’s live “Stone Cold” podcast?

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin podcast with A.J. Styles - June 20, 2016 (c) WWE Network

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin returns to WWE television next Monday, June 20 in the form of a live podcast interview with A.J. Styles on WWE Network.

In a new interview, Austin talked about why Styles was a good choice for his next live post-Raw interview.

“A.J. Styles just carried Roman Reigns to two world class matches back-to-back. The second one wasn’t as good as the first, but it’s hard to top an all-time classic. Reigns carried his end, but that was all A.J. They keep beating that kid, and they’ve got a potential superstar on their hands,” Austin told Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated in a very lengthy interview covering Austin’s career.

“(Styles) has only been working 16, 18 years, he’s got it figured out. Put a rocket on his ass and send him to the moon. I would love to see them run with Styles. I called him over the last time I saw him, which was before he got into that string of really good matches, and we’d never met. I said, ‘Hey man, good luck.’

“When you see guys like that – who have been around the world and are veterans, you want them to finally get paid. He’s paid a million dues and he ain’t made no money. I want to see the kid go out and have a seven-figure year finally.”

Also in the interview, Austin clarified recent comments on his podcast with PWTorch editor Wade Keller about whether Cody Rhodes should have stayed in WWE with the brand split coming up.

“All I asked Wade Keller was, ‘With the brand split, do you think it was a good time for Cody to walk away?’ I know Cody didn’t know about the brand split, but had he known – and known that they were going to need a lot of hands on deck – they probably would have been willing to do anything at that point,” Austin said.

“I’ve got respect for Cody Rhodes and I consider him a friend. I wasn’t bad-mouthing him or running him down because he quit. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you see talent in yourself and you pitch an idea, and they won’t listen to you. Ultimately, you decide, ‘F— it, I’m going to do this someplace else.’ I’ve got respect for the guy.

“My point was only, had he known about a brand split, do you think he would have walked away? They would have been forced to use him, maybe in the capacity he would have wanted. To bring it up now, out of context, makes me look like I’m trying to disparage Cody Rhodes when I’ve got nothing but respect for him.”

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