AJ Styles and Seth Rollins faced each other at Money in the Bank for the latter's WWE Universal Championship. In what was arguably the match of the night, Rollins pinned Styles in 19 minutes by hitting him with his Curb Stomp finisher. Styles, who had hinted at some heelish tendencies in the build to the match, walked back into the ring after Rollins celebrated with the title and stuck his hand out of a handshake. Rollins obliged, and Styles could be seen saying something to the champ that the microphones couldn't pick up. In a new interview with Newsweek on Monday, Styles explained what was said during that encounter.
"I told Seth I was right when I said 13 years ago that he would be something special in this business," Styles said. "We both respected each other that was never in question. It was two guys, two egos and a lot of testosterone that you're going to get a fight when two big dogs get next to each other. Tempers go awry and next thing you know we're fighting and it is what it is, but when it's over and someone comes out the better man you shake hands."
That match marked Styles' first attempt at the Universal Championship. He later stated in the interview that he wants one run with the title before his career wraps up.1comments
"Just because you lose doesn't mean it's over," he said. "I've lost before. I've lost the WWE championship before. You find your way back into the hunt. You may get derailed by going to the back of the line but you want what you want. And I want to be Universal Champion before my career is over."
Since joining the WWE in 2016, Styles has won the WWE Championship twice and the United States Championship twice. His second world title run reached 371 days, making him the first man to hold WWE's most prestigious prize for a full calendar year since CM Punk's 434-day reign from 2011-13. He's also the only man in wrestling history to hold the WWE Championship, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (New Japan Pro Wrestling's top title), the TNA World World Heavyweight Championship and the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Styles appeared in a backstage promo on Monday Night Raw this week, while Rollins confronted Mr. Money in the Bank Brock Lesnar while also winning a main event tag match alongside reigning WWE Champion Kofi Kingston.