Sometimes professional wrestling can be really, really weird. Take for example the headline for this article: “AJ Styles Becomes WWE’s New Colonel Sanders Thanks to Epic Stunner Sell by Rusev.”
It’s weird, but it’s also exactly what happened as part of a dark match that took place following the January 16 episode of Smackdown Live.
AJ Styles won the inaugural KFC Colonel Rumble to determine who would be the WWE’s newest star to portray Colonel Sanders, likely for a promotional ad to air during Wrestlemania week. The WWE champion is in good company, joining former champions Dolph Ziggler, Shawn Michaels, and Kurt Angle, as those who have donned the costume and fluffy white wig.
Also taking part in the match was The Miz, who people might remember from the original WWE KFC commercial that aired in 2016 (he donned a chicken costume and fought Ziggler, while dressed as the colonel), as well as the Fashion Police, Titus O’Neil, Heath Slater, Mojo Rawley and Rusev, who was the last eliminated.
Rusev and Styles putting on a mini-match was enough for the fans to be a captive audience but what happened at the end of it all, produced perhaps the biggest pop of the night. Styles hit Rusev with a stone cold stunner and Rusev did his best Rock impersonation to sell the thing. So much so that not only did he land on his back, but the momentum continued to carry him backward and over the top rope, leaving Styles as the last man standing.
WWE has had several notable moments with KFC over the past several years, including making Colonel Sanders a playable character in WWE 2K18, but this battle royale might be the best of all. Styles is a perfect choice to portray the new colonel and with a taste of what a Rusev/Styles match could be, fans were sent home happy. Not to mention, the match featured the spot which is now a viral video commemorating one of the greatest stunner sells of all-time and provided further proof as to why Rusev is a standout star.