AJ Styles is arguably one of the WWE's most popular in-ring performers. Only a couple years into his tenure with the company, he's proven that not bringing him in earlier was an error in judgment on the part of WWE and to make up for it, the WWE is making the most out of what he still offers by pushing him as one of the company's top talents.
During his path to WWE stardom, AJ Styles has managed to put on some of the promotions best matches. His in-ring technical skills are hard to match and no matter who his opponent, he seems to be able to pull the best out of them, reminding many fans of past performers like Shawn Michaels or Bret Hart.
His high-flying style has endeared him to fans and since jumping to the blue brand in the brand split, he's taken Tuesday nights and made SmackDown Live the house that "AJ Styles built!" Along the way, he's won multiple titles and added his name to a very exclusive list.
One Reddit user pointed out that Styles is one of the few people to start and end a calendar year as champion. The only other former stars to accomplish this feat are Bruno Sammartino who did so from the years 1964 - 1970 and from 1974- 1976. Bob Backlund did so in 1979- 1982 and Hulk Hogan did so from 1985- 1987. Two other names did so in a single year and they were John Cena (2006) and CM Punk (2012).
Considering how little time Styles has spent in the WWE, this is no small feat. In an industry where titles change hands much more often than they used to, it's not rare for title holders to have their belts come and go within a matter of days and while Styles didn't hold the WWE Championship continuously for the entire calendar year, he has been given the trust of the company to lead the roster into the future.
Rumored to be one of the leaders in the locker room, he is among the most trusted workers in the company and appears to be a focal part of the future of WWE. That is, as long as he wants to be.
Recently, Styles shot down recent rumors that he'd be leaving the WWE sooner than later having his words somehow twisted that he only intended to stay for a couple years. Perhaps this push as champion is a reward by the company for being someone WWE can invest in. Adding to his resume, he was just recently named wrestler of the year for 2017.