WWE superstar AJ styles was a recent guest on the After The Bell podcast with host Corey Graves where The Phenomenal One recalled his WrestleMania 34 showdown against Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE championship. The bout was a highly-anticipated rematch from their WrestleKingdom 10 showdown in NJPW, which led to massive expectations from fans for the "show of shows," something Styles agrees was way too high.
The expectations are way too high. That’s the only thing I think — oh yeah, because I know Nakamura did too because no matter what we would’ve done in that match, the expectations were way too high. Here’s what a lot of people don’t understand: Crowds, fans, the WWE Universe — New Japan, all that stuff, their fans are everything. They’re everything. They set the tone on what is a great match and it’s how they respond to it and in Japan, they’re so respectful and when they do respond, it’s huge and you’re just like, ‘Wow! This is such an amazing match’ but had that same match been done in a WWE ring without the same response, it’s not gonna be declared as that great of a match.
Styles continues and later admits that he quite enjoyed the story he and Nakamura told at Mania.
Fans are everything. They dictate a great match. It’s just the reality and the truth of the whole thing and a lot of people don’t understand and the expectations were so high because of what we did at Wrestle Kingdom. I was like, ‘Oh man’ and I still think it was a great match.