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WWE released video interviews with A.J. Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows discussing their “surreal” and “strange” return to Ryogoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo for Friday’s WWE show, where they headlined numerous big shows for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
“I think my career was re-born here,” Styles said. “Had I not come here, who knows where I would be right now. Coming here to Japan for two years and meeting two of my best friends … that’s special. And, we got to come together in WWE makes it even more special.”
Styles also mentioned New Japan ace Hiroshi Tanahashi in recalling his top matches in the building.
“One of the biggest stars in Japan I wrestled here – probably had one of my favorite matches here with Tanahashi. It was amazing. Then, wrestling (John) Cena was amazing. Man, this is what it’s all about.”
Anderson relayed a conversation with Shinsuke Nakamura, who was ingrained in New Japan’s upper echelon along with Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada before leaving for WWE along with Styles, Anderson, and Gallows.
“I gave Shinsuke a hug in the hallway. I go, ‘You okay?’ He goes, ‘Strange. Strange.’ It’s different. It’s awesome. We’re happy, man. It’s beautiful,” Anderson said.
Luke Gallows talked about the surreal feeling walking into the building for a WWE show, as opposed to a New Japan show.
“It was surreal coming in here,” Gallows said. “The way we used to come in on the New Japan bus and now coming in here seeing the WWE paper signs leading us back through the hallway – it was weird to see it. Then, when we looked out there and saw the WWE ring out there, it was very surreal. It was cool because you always wonder if they’re going to remember. And when we came out, obviously they did. So, it was pretty sweet for both of us.”
And, after all of the pleasantries and warm feelings for their return, Styles, Karl, and Gallows reminded the Japanese fans why they booed them when they first came to Japan when they attacked John Cena.
“That crowd was electric,” Styles said. “We never thought we would be in a WWE ring here in Tokyo, Japan. I didn’t see that coming.” Gallows chimed in: “They appreciated seeing us, but then when we got dirty, they remembered why –. ” Styles finished: “They remembered why they booed us in the first place.”