World Wrestling Entertainment has officially acknowledged the news that AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows and Ken Anderson are leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling for their company. WWE.com is now reporting the story. Although WWE.com reported that “Triple H has declined to comment on the rumors,” the fact that they are even reporting of this news in the first place should be a telling sign that this is a done deal. WWE wouldn’t address this if it wasn’t true. The following is an excerpt from WWE.com’s coverage of this story. If there was ever any doubt that this news was not true, this report from the WWE should erase all suspicions.
“The sports-entertainment world has been buzzing this week with speculation that WWE has signed four massive international Superstars.
Numerous media outlets reported Monday that AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson and Luke “Doc” Gallows — most recently of New Japan Pro Wrestling — are in negotiations to compete under the WWE banner.
The office of WWE COO and EVP of Talent Relations, Triple H, declined to comment on the rumors for WWE.com.
Reports began circulating late Sunday that all four had reportedly given their notices to New Japan management. Fueling the rumors that Styles, Nakamura, Anderson and Gallows were WWE-bound was a series of tweets involving reigning NXT Champion Finn Bálor.
Until recently, Styles, Gallows and Anderson were all part of New Japan’s Bullet Club faction, a stable formerly led by Bálor when he wrestled in Japan under the alias Prince Devitt. For months, Bálor has made it clear that he’s still tight with the Bullet Club members, even tweeting photos of them wearing his “Bálor Club” T-Shirts. On Monday, Bálor stirred the pot again, tweeting an image of Anderson sporting trunks that bore Finn’s “demon” design. Additionally, the official Twitter account for the Bullet Club tweeted the NXT Champion Monday telling him to keep more Bálor Club shirts on hand in case they need them. That tweet has since been deleted.”
WWE.com writer John Clapp continues the report, touching on the accolades Styles, Nakamura, Gallows and Anderson have achieved in their wrestling careers (excluding anything TNA related). Clapp also mentioned how Daniel Bryan and Nakamura are good friends, and how Bryan proposed an inter-promotional match with Nakamura to WWE management during last year’s WrestleMania media tours. WWE.com also links you to a match between AJ Styles and The Hurricane from 2002, when Styles was briefly a part of the WWE. They later tweeted that same link with the hash tag, Bullet Club.
— WWE (@WWE) January 6, 2016
Sasha Banks and Finn Bálor also decided to join in on the fun through their official social media accounts.
— Mercedes Varnado (@SashaBanksWWE) January 5, 2016
Mark’s reaction: It’s cool that the WWE is addressing this and not just pretending like nothing is happening. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer was saying on his Wrestling Observer Radio show that the WWE were really trying their best to keep this under wraps but once it got out that Styles, Nakamura, Gallows and Anderson were given their notices, the news spread like wildfire.
Like I mentioned above, WWE doesn’t just address random internet rumors about possible signings if they’re not true. I like the idea that the WWE is building this up as a hot story that Triple H won’t comment on. It helps build the anticipation and the suspense for when they finally do show up. Who knows, maybe they’ll all show up together as a faction. I just can’t wait to see what’s in store!
Below, you can watch Styles’ WWE match versus The Hurricane in it’s entirety.