Prince Devitt Only Wrestled AJ Styles Once In NJPW

Hamish Woodward

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The huge clash between Prince Devitt and AJ Styles is one of the biggest dream matches in NJPW history… although they did manage to wrestle twice!

While the pair did wrestle in the WWE (where Devitt is known as Finn Balor) on numerous occasions, they never actually had a singles match in Japan.

While having the two former Bullet Club leaders seems like a no-brainer, the lack of a singles match between them actually makes a lot of sense.

AJ Styles debuted for NJPW at the Invasion Attack 2014 event. This was after he left TNA, following them offering him less money to re-sign, despite interest from WWE.

This event also happened to be the scene of Prince Devitt’s last NJPW match. He lost to former Apollo 55 Teammate Ryusuke Taguchi in a fast-paced and exciting match, showcasing the best of the New Japan super juniors’ division.

While it was a good match, it was the post-match action which caught the eye. Former TNA Champion AJ Styles debuted for New Japan after the match, immediately attacking Prince Devitt in the ring.

He literally kicked Prince Devitt out of New Japan, taking over as the leader of the Bullet Club going forward.

As that was the stable that Devitt had created 18 months prior, the fans felt great sympathy for The Real Rock ‘n’ Rolla and began to cheer for him.

However, he would not been again in NJPW. Prince Devitt soon signed for WWE, changing his name to Finn Balor and wresting on the NXT brand.

However, Prince Devitt did wrestle AJ Styles in NJPW – it just took place many years earlier.

They clashed multiple times in the WWE (with their most notable being the impromptu clash at TLC 2017), but only once did AJ Styles do battle with Prince Devitt in New Japan.

Prince Devitt vs AJ Styles

The only time Prince Devitt wrestled AJ Styles in NJPW was in a six-man tag team match in 2008.

On the 4th January 2008, NJPW hosted the second Wrestle Kingdom event. The January 4th show in the Tokyo Dome had been a fixture of the schedule for decades, but it would not be named Wrestle Kingdon until 2007.

DID YOU KNOW? NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom is named after a video game!

AJ Styles was signed to TNA at the time. The company had a working relationship with NJPW at the time, with the two companies sharing workers over the years.

In the opening match of Wrestle Kingdom 2, AJ Styles, Christian Cage & Petey Williams defeat RISE (Milano Collection AT, Minoru & Prince Devitt).

The match lasted 10 minutes, and was a cross-promotion match, akin to the Forbidden Door matches of the modern day.

The match was a decent opener, but was not quite the all-out war it had been promised as. It was a typical six-man tag team match, although it did show a mix of styles in the match.

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