WWE Intercontinental champion AJ Styles recently spoke with Sports Illustrated to hype up the final episode of Undertaker’s Last Ride documentary series on the WWE Network. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
On finding out he would be working with Undertaker:
I found out I was going to be working The Undertaker right before the Saudi show [in February]. I was like, ‘Finally, I get an opportunity to learn from a guy like The Undertaker.’ I was super excited about it. I was so jealous of guys that got to work him. For me, to be able to learn from the best, it was a blessing.
Their goal and expectations for the match:
My goal was to give The Undertaker something he could be proud of. My expectations were so different because I didn’t know what the WWE universe would think of a match like this. There’s been stuff like this before, like with New Day and the Wyatt Family [on Raw in July of 2016], and I loved that. But I didn’t know how if people would love this, so it definitely exceeded my expectations.
Some behind the scenes moments of that match:
There were definitely some crazy moments. Undertaker had to get stitches after he busted his arm open. That just added to the match, to be honest with you. Just being there and doing that particular match was awesome. And I don’t know if everyone knows how long it actually took. We started around eight o’clock, and we didn’t get finished ‘til about 4:30 in the morning. It was basically a movie, so we needed to get cameras in the right spot and walk through some stuff that was going to happen. I have a lot more respect for actors after working on those fight scenes.
Where the Boneyard ranks on his list of accomplishments:
It’s an accomplishment just to be able to work an angle with him. I didn’t think that was ever going to happen. I heard in last week’s episode [of Last Ride] that Undertaker thought he was done and ready to move away from wrestling. I didn’t know that, I didn’t know that was going on. So it’s such an honor that he would trust me enough to work me, even though he had decided he was done. For sure, it’s a highlight. My friends go, ‘Hey, you main-evented WrestleMania with The Undertaker.’ I guess I did, the first night anyway, and it definitely was one of the better matches of WrestleMania.
Being happy that Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson could be apart of it:
We didn’t get to watch the match together, we were all at home. But we called each other right after we watched and we were all so happy with the match. They can say that they, too, main-evented WrestleMania with The Undertaker and AJ Styles. I was super happy to have those guys be part of the match.
Being able to show off more personality against Undertaker:
First of all, you need some layers when it comes to your character. If not, you’re going to get stale at some point, so you’ve got to be able to switch it up, make it entertaining, and show another side of you. Not only was I trying to show some versatility, so was The Undertaker, too. We didn’t know who we were going to get at WrestleMania. Was it the American Badass or The Undertaker? I think people were happy to see that they got both in the Boneyard match. It was even a combination of himself, The Undertaker, and the American Badass.