AJ Styles Denies Rumors; CM Punk Talks Retribution; Rollins Responds to Cena

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

WWE Superstar CM Punk appears at Madison Square Garden, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, in New York, during a rally leading up to the 25th Anniversary of Survivor Series, taking place Sunday at Madison Square Garden.  The event will feature actor and wrestling favorite Dwayne
DAVE ALLOCCA/Associated Press

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.


Styles Denies Being Unhappy in WWE

During a recent Twitch stream, intercontinental champion AJ Styles shot down the notion that he is unhappy in WWE.

According to Felix Upton of Ringside News, Styles said the following regarding the subject: "I'm unhappy being intercontinental champion, I'm unhappy what? What do I have to be unhappy about? We all understood what happened [with Paul Heyman]. The problem with everything that happened is that the lie happened, the blatant lie. I don't really want to harp on anyone anymore. What's done is done."

Styles previously spoke out against Heyman due to his belief that the 54-year-old played a role in the release of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.

Last month, Styles called Heyman a liar and claimed that he spearheaded the release of Gallows and Anderson despite Heyman telling AJ he had nothing to do with it. Styles said Heyman is the reason he moved from Raw to SmackDown, although Heyman has since been relieved from his post as executive director of Raw.

Things have been going well for Styles since he made the move to the blue brand, however. He beat Daniel Bryan in the final of a tournament to win the IC title and has since had successful defenses against the likes of Drew Gulak, Matt Riddle and Gran Metalik.

Styles is scheduled to defend the title again on Friday's episode of SmackDown when he takes on an old TNA foe in Jeff Hardy.

The Phenomenal One seems to have found peace on SmackDown, and given the fact that he has been utilized as one of the top heels on the brand, one can only assume he is truthful when he says he is happy with his current position.


Punk Jokes About Retribution

CM Punk took to Twitter on Monday to joke about some ideas he has for the Retribution stable that has been wreaking havoc on Raw and SmackDown recently.

Punk quipped that it should be revealed that Retribution is comprised of the grandchildren of the wrestling territory promoters who WWE chairman Vince McMahon put out of business in the 1980s and 1990s:

player/coach @CMPunk

Gosh. Some of you just aren’t ready for long term story telling. 🙄

player/coach @CMPunk


Retribution debuted on Raw a couple of weeks ago when they blew up a power generator outside the WWE Performance Center. They followed that up on SmackDown by chasing people away from the ringside area, spray-painting the boards and even cutting the ropes with a chainsaw.

On last week's episode of SmackDown, they attacked Big E and John Morrison during their match and also destroyed the backstage area.

Retribution was responsible for technical difficulties to start Raw on Monday, and they broke into a production truck while Drew McIntyre was cutting a promo on Randy Orton ahead of their match at SummerSlam.

It still isn't clear who is in Retribution or what their objective is, but they have made their presence felt and been a huge part of WWE programming.

The angle has been met with mixed reviews thus far, but what will determine whether it is successful or not is how the members are revealed and what they do after that point.

Punk's angle is pretty unlikely, but perhaps some disgruntled Superstars from NXT could get their main roster careers off to a hot start by being part of a marquee angle.


Rollins Responds to Cena's Compliments

Ahead of his street fight against Dominik Mysterio at SummerSlam on Sunday, Seth Rollins spoke with Jason Duaine Hahn of People to discuss several topics, including something John Cena said about him recently.

In an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Cena pointed to Rollins and Bray Wyatt as two WWE Superstars he believes are thriving in a difficult environment with no fans in attendance at WWE shows because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rollins told Hahn that Cena's praise isn't something he takes lightly:

"John is someone that I respect a lot as a performer, but also as a human being, so for my name to be at the forefront of his mind when asked about that, as someone who is worthwhile, it means a lot coming from him. I just have a lot of respect for him, for what he's done for the industry, but also, he's a great dude. To be thought highly of by him is cool, I do appreciate that a lot."

Rollins has gotten the opportunity to cut some in-depth promos and truly delve into his Monday Night Messiah character in recent months, and he has made the most of the situation.

His interactions with Kevin Owens leading up to WrestleMania were compelling, and the match was great. More recently, his feud with Rey Mysterio and the legendary luchador's son, Dominik Mysterio, has been a tent-pole storyline on Raw.

Fans rebelled against Rollins as a babyface last year, but he has taken that negativity and turned it into a positive by becoming one of the most well-rounded heel characters WWE has to offer.

He has a big responsibility on his hands Sunday at SummerSlam, as he is being tasked with guiding Dominik through his first match and adding more layers to an important storyline.

Given the roll Rollins has been on as of late, it is difficult to envision him doing anything other than delivering.


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