ESPN has a great article looking at the history between Samoa Joe and WWE Champion AJ Styles, ahead of their big match at WWE SummerSlam on Sunday. The article features comments from Joe, Styles, Christopher Daniels and WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett.
Styles revealed that his "cockroach-infested apartment" comments from Tuesday's go-home SmackDown promo were a reference to their days on the indies, mainly their time in TNA. The article also looks at some of their matches in TNA, including the legendary Triple Threat with Daniels at Unbreakable 2005.
AJ, in his SmackDown promo, said, "That's what pisses me off the most, Joe, because you know my wife, you know my kids, and long before this was the House that AJ Styles Built, we both shared the cockroach-infested apartment complex and shared stale pizza together."
"When I say 'cockroach-infested' that means, 'Listen dude, we went through a lot of crap, we've worked in a lot of places to get to where we're at, mainly with TNA,'" Styles told ESPN. "The guys that TNA didn't want to push to the absolute tippity-top are also the guys in one of the biggest matches in SummerSlam for the WWE championship."
Joe looked ahead to Sunday's match in Brooklyn and said they knew a day like this would come.
"You have to understand, both myself and AJ, to a certain extent, there's always been the naysayers and people who said we're not gonna be this, we're not gonna be that," Joe said. "Early in his career I'm sure there were people saying, 'He's a small guy, he'll never be on a heavyweight stage.' Myself, there's people saying, 'He'll never find himself in the halls of WWE.' It's a narrative that's fueled more by secondhand fan myth than what people feel. To find ourselves here, to find ourselves in the main event of SummerSlam -- there's come to be the understanding anywhere we've ever gone, we've never shown up and just kind of blended in. We've shown up and we've been at the top of the card. We've always been confident in our abilities. Maybe it goes against a lot of the mythology that people have spun about us never being here, but for us this was not unexpected whatsoever."
"Me and AJ have been throwing down for a lot of years now," Joe continued. "The rivalry hasn't cooled. The matches have only intensified. People were calling for it the minute we were back in a company together. We knew it was inevitable. It always is."
Styles described the match as looking like "this big Samoan guy and this other smaller guy" on paper but said the match is huge as it will be the first televised singles match between the two in five years.
"Just knowing what we've been through together, just knowing the stuff that has happened in our careers, and now we're going for the WWE championship at SummerSlam in New York at Barclays -- that's huge," Styles said. "SummerSlam being one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year and now I'm doing it with a guy I've known for what, 17 years. It's crazy".