WWE Superstar AJ Styles Teases ‘SummerSlam,’ Who He Wants After John Cena

“The Phenomenal One” tells TheWrap why tonight will be better than “Wrestlemania 32”

WWE fans are chomping at the bit for Sunday’s “SummerSlam,” and so is A.J. Styles.

The man who didn’t take too long to turn “I’m gonna beat up John Cena” into a catchphrase gets exactly that opportunity this evening from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

While the bad-guy persona is all part of the act, 39-year-old Styles recognizes a huge career opportunity when he gets one. He also knows how to have some fun.

“I think the thing that I get most excited about is the fact that I know I’m gonna have a great match. That’s when I get the butterflies,” he told TheWrap. “When it’s just a regular match or something like that, I may not get that.

“I love the butterflies because you react a little bit faster, jump a little bit higher, stuff like that … This Sunday I’ll definitely have them.”

So either Styles will beat up 15-time champ and “the face that runs the place,” or he’ll be at the wrong end of an Attitude Adjustment (or two, or three). Either way, the WWE Superstar rookie is no newbie to being a lower-case talent, and Styles already knows who he wants next.

“I really want the Heavyweight title,” he said. “So, if Dean Ambrose has it after ‘SummerSlam,’ then I want him. If Dolph Ziggler has it, then I want him.”

Those two will bang it out this evening for the company’s top belt. It will be a match that puts this writer’s favorite (Ziggler) versus his wife’s No. 1 (Ambrose, the reigning champion). Check back Monday for a separate post on marital strife.

Styles has had many memorable matches beyond the reach of Vince McMahon‘s giant publicly traded brand. His last huge one that pre-dated the WWE was against old Japan rival, Shinsuke Nakamura. With Nakamura tearing up WWE’s minor league NXT, Styles is down for a rematch.

“It’s only a matter of time before he gets called up and he and I can get after it again,” he teased.

All this looking ahead doesn’t mean Styles isn’t focused at the task at hand, however — he’s just a giving interview. We also asked Allen Neal Jones (Style’s real name) which “SummerSlam” match he’ll peak at most from behind the curtain.

“There’s gonna be a lot that I’m gonna peak to watch,” he said. “Dolph and Dean is gonna be unbelievable. [Finn] Balor and [Seth] Rollins, another great match. Roman [Reigns] and Rusev … I honestly believe this is a better card than ‘Wrestlemania.'”

A.J. Styles wrestles John Cena Sunday at “WWE SummerSlam” from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.