It turns out that it was a match against one of the best WWE wrestlers on the roster today — Randy Orton.
AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
The feud has slowly been building, but a lot of it has been more verbal than action-oriented.
There was a moment two weeks ago on SmackDown Live that helped set up the match between the two. AJ Styles was backstage doing an interview and said that Kofi Kingston was robbed of his title shot against Daniel Bryan.
Randy Orton then walked up and commented that he can’t believe that AJ Styles is talking about someone other than him deserving a WWE championship opportunity. Orton then said he sees why it took Styles 15 years to get to WWE.
The next week, Orton came out on SmackDown Live and said that this isn’t the house that AJ Styles built because Orton has been here since 2002 while Styles was wrestling in “bingo halls.”
AJ Styles arrived and told Randy Orton that he may claim to hate the indies but that Orton never would have succeeded there. Styles said he made it the hard way, unlike Orton, whose dad got him a job in WWE.
The WrestleMania 35 match between AJ Styles and Randy Orton was set up after this promo.
— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) March 15, 2019
Mark Henry talks AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton at WrestleMania 35
While there is no title on the line and it isn’t about a long-simmering feud, WWE Hall of Fame star Mark Henry told Busted Open Radio that this is in no way a filler match.
Henry said that this is a match that involves two stars who have been champions multiple times. He called it a main event caliber WWE match that people will want to see as much as they want to see Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan or Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins.
“It’s a main event match, guys,” Henry said. “Randy Orton, in my opinion, he’s not on Mount Rushmore yet, but he’s slowly entering that top 15 or top 10 of all-time. He is that damn good and then AJ Styles, from the time he was an indie guy, worked his way up, worked down south, to now coming to the WWE. He did everything at every level that there is to do and he has become an elite champion.”
WWE WrestleMania 35 takes place on April 7 at 7/6c on WWE Network.