Are AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows coming to WWE?
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.
Bálor's hints about his former stablemates continued Wednesday when he Instagrammed a photo of himself wearing a Bullet Club shirt and holding open the door of the WWE Performance Center.
The addition of Styles, Nakamura, Anderson and Gallows would represent one of the most significant bulk talent acquisitions in WWE history.
Nicknamed “The Phenomenal One,” Styles twice held New Japan’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship, the organization’s top title. He competed on the national scene in the United States for well over a decade, dating back to the latter days of WCW, and is universally hailed for his multi-tooled attack in the ring.
Though not a member of The Bullet Club, Nakamura remains one of the most popular wrestlers outside of WWE. Displaying a flamboyant charisma comparable to Freddie Mercury, but possessing the brutal strikes of an elite fighter, Nakamura roomed with Daniel Bryan years ago in California when both were early into their sports-entertainment careers. During media tours for last year’s WrestleMania, Bryan even revealed he once proposed an inter-promotional match against Nakamura to WWE management.
Gallows and Anderson co-held New Japan’s tag team titles on three occasions. Additionally, Gallows competed in WWE from 2007 to 2010, while Anderson is a former tag team partner of WWE Performance Center Head Coach Matt Bloom.
Stick with WWE.com for more updates on this developing story as they become available.