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Okay, it has been well over a week since rumors surfaced online that WWE was set to sign AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson. Normally, I would be all over such a big story and cover it from every angle. Not this one though. Truth be told, I have refrained from commenting for two big reasons.
1. I am not an avid follower of the four wrestlers. If you are looking for an expert discussing their careers and movesets, you may want to look elsewhere. Being honest here, I know very little about them, so why comment without any real facts?
2. Everything is still hearsay. Yes, I do think the rumors will end up being true, but until we get there, it is not confirmed. I have been doing this for far too long to believe every little news report and buy into them all. Gullible, I am not.
With that being said, here are my (limited) thoughts on the reports as we inch closer to the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view next weekend...
WWE Fan: Who Is AJ Styles?
Very smart of WWE to take advantage of the stories and discuss them on their own website. If folks are already talking about a major news story AND it benefits the company, why not? They have not said anything one way or another, so it does not spoil the impending arrival very much. Again, people are already all over it anyways.
Plus, you have to keep in mind that things leak online because WWE wants them to. It is my firm belief that (in some cases) stories are purposely made public by WWE themselves. A prime example is from November 2014. I have zero doubt in my mind that somebody from WWE leaked the Sting/Survivor Series debut news during the PPV weekend. On purpose! To drum up buzz and interest a mere days before the event and in an effort to gain any last minute WWE Network subscribers due to their 'free free free' promotion.
Let's be real here folks: If WWE really wants something to remain a secret, it will remain a secret. John Cena returning at the Royal Rumble in 2008, Dudleyz coming back last August, the list is endless. When WWE goes to extreme measures and hides a surprise to their liking, it is 100% kept under wraps.
When they want a story to be leaked for them benefit, yeah, they let the news out.
Back to my main point, WWE wants the news out there for fans to do their homework on these guys BEFORE they show up. True or not, AJ Styles is not a household name that will walk down the RAW or Smackdown stage and be known. Take offense to that comment all you want; it just comes with the territory. Once people get to know Styles and see him compete, he should be fine.
Same thing with CM Punk, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, etc. Before they arrived in WWE (or NXT), it was a big question. Let them shine though, and it is all gravy baby.
Doc Gallows AGAIN?
A little known fact - Daniel Bryan was released by WWE in 2010. A few years later, he was beating Kane, Randy Orton, Sheamus, John Cena, Batista, Triple H and others CLEAN in the middle of the ring.
Alberto Del Rio was gone from WWE not too long as well.
Ryback has been released from WWE.
Goldust has about 4,356 times as well.
Heck, Emma was just let go from the company 18 months ago.
Bottom line is guys and gals get fired and then brought back. It happens. Both in the wrestling world and elsewhere. You want to know WHY they are eventually brought back in the end?
Because of talent.
Doc Gallows has bounced around from company to company, and he always lands on his feet with bigger and better things ahead. How come?
The top officials of each federation know what he brings to the table. Yeah, Doc was in WWE before and did very little. So what? Welcome him back with open arms and a new sense of purpose and let him shine.
Not going to lie: I have not seen much of Karl Anderson outside of a few matches and Youtube clips. From everything I have read, he is well worth the signing.
The WWE Style?
I think Doc will do fine in WWE. We have seen it before and with more experience, he should be even better. Karl Anderson is an unknown to me, but since the company seemingly wants him so bad, he MUST be really good. Also, the same with AJ Styles. I saw plenty of him in TNA Impact Wrestling and have read nothing but rave reviews of his past 12 months overseas. No doubt these folks will thrive in WWE (or NXT) if given the chance to perform inside the squared circle.
Sadly, I can not say the same for Nakamura.
Not now at least...
The whole idea of being "King of the Strong Style" is not my cup of tea. Sorry. Suplexing guys on their heads and kicking them as stiff as can be is not professional wrestling. Bret Hart said it best: Wrestling is at its best when it is made to look as real as possible without opponents hurting each other. With the entire concern in 2016 for concussion and especially with WWE getting bit by the injury bug, none of that stuff is going to fly.
Early reports suggest Namakura is doing some medical testing and may train at the Performace Center for a little bit before debuting. I say GOOD! That is nothing but a positive for his long-term future with WWE. He and officials have to tread lightly here. What worked in Japan may not necessarily work elsewhere. Still, this signing appears to be a long time coming, so I am pretty excited to see what all the fuss is about.
Should be a phenomenal 2016 for WWE...
Follow me on Twitter @JustinWatry if you have not already. We are nearing the 850 mark. Only 2 more to hit that number…then I have to think of a new contest (or whatever) for everybody.
The Daily Mortician
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