AJ Styles is one of the greatest wrestlers currently active in the world. He has dominated the independent wrestling scene, working for renowned promotions such as Ring Of Honor, TNA, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. His WWE run has mirrored this success; Styles is currently the United States Champion with two WWE Championship reigns under his belt.
Given The Phenomenal One's extensive resume of quality matches, this was a difficult list to construct. Here are five of Styles' most impressive bouts and, because nobody's perfect, five that failed to live up to expectations.
10 Best: AJ Styles vs. Roman Reigns (Extreme Rules 2016)
AJ Styles' WWE debut was met with a tremendous ovation. The Phenomenal One debuted as part of the 2016 Royal Rumble match to a confused in-ring Roman Reigns, firmly establishing himself as a fan favorite purely due to the momentous hype of his arrival.
Styles' bout against The Big Dog at Extreme Rules followed a previous match at Payback which the former TNA Heavyweight Champion lost. Still finding his footing on the WWE roster, Styles still excelled, bumping for Reigns and selling the intensity of their collision.
9 Worst: AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho (WrestleMania 32)
The Y2AJ storyline, in which Styles teamed with Chris Jericho following his WWE debut, didn't last long in some ways and lasted too long in others. Jericho turned on Styles soon after they formed their tag-team, putting them on a path to a WrestleMania 32 showdown.
Both stars have made waves on the independent circuit and are known for delivering in the ring, but this match failed to live up to expectations. Styles' loss here hurt his momentum a little, an odd decision on Creative's behalf.
8 Best: AJ Styles vs. John Cena (SummerSlam 2016)
Styles' heel turn was a blessing, as it allowed the former NJPW star to expand his mic skills and move away from a cookie-cutter babyface persona. Following his defeat of Cena at Money In The Bank with the help of The Club, the Face That Runs The Place challenged The Phenomenal One to another showdown, this time strictly between the two of them.
Shockingly, WWE decided to pull the trigger on Styles and had him beat Cena, after a grueling match that saw both former WWE Champions pushed to their limits.
7 Worst: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Backlash 2018)
Like his WrestleMania bout against Chris Jericho, Styles' match against Shinsuke Nakamura at Backlash should have been a lot better than it was, considering the high caliber of talent involved. Both superstars have history from NJPW, where they showcased incredible matches that elevated the wrestling industry as a whole.
Nakamura's booking hurt his momentum and this match failed to live up to the hype. Styles retained his WWE Championship after they were both counted out of the No Disqualification match.
6 Best: AJ Styles vs. Kazuchika Okada (Dominion 2015)
Styles was a big name for NJPW and wrestled with some of its top stars to produce quality matches. His clash with Kazuchika Okada demonstrated this. It was a match that encapsulated the dynamic energy of the promotion's wrestling style and added another impressive accolade to Styles' repertoire.
The Phenomenal One played an excellent heel, coveting the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, whilst Okada was the plucky, gutsy babyface who pushed the champion to never-before-seen extremes.
5 Worst: AJ Styles vs. Curt Hawkins (Battle Of Los Angeles, 2014)
AJ Styles and Curt Hawkins are currently in very different places in WWE. On one end of the spectrum, Styles is a former WWE Champion currently holding the United States Championship and working in some of the biggest feuds of the company's recent years. Hawkins, at the other end of the scale, is WWE's biggest jobber and has seen none of his fellow PWG alumni's success.
This was foreshadowed in their PWG Battle Royal collision, when Styles eliminated Hawkins first after a meager exchange of maneuvres and a botched finish. It was an unfortunate blip that derailed Hawkins' career on the independent circuit.
4 Best: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Wrestle Kingdom 10)
Despite their WWE matches failing to live up to expectations, Styles and Nakamura have put on incredible showdowns whilst working for NJPW; bouts that awed the wrestling world and elevated Styles to the top of the PWI 100 list.
This match featured an excellent in-ring story with incredible athleticism and wrestling ability. The moment carried a big significance, as it was the last time the two would face each other while signed with NJPW before they departed for WWE.
3 Worst: AJ Styles vs. Rhino (Turning Point 2006)
This was one of Styles' more lackluster bouts from his tenure with TNA. The former TNA Heavyweight Champion put on some stellar bouts whilst signed with Dixie Carter's company, but (in true TNA style) there were some mishaps along the way.
Styles and Rhino had little chemistry in the ring. Styles defeated his opponent after feigning a knee injury, prompting Rhino to pursue him through the arena. The cat-and-mouse game worked to establish Styles as a cowardly heel but not a credible champion.
2 Best: AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar (Survivor Series 2017)
This match allegedly relit a passion in Brock Lesnar's belly as he enjoyed working with Styles so much. It is clear to see why, as the two had surprising in-ring chemistry and worked well together to tell an entertaining story about the clash of strength versus speed.
Styles once again bumped as hard as he could, selling each of Lesnar's devastating moves perfectly. Despite losing, he lost little credibility, proving to the WWE Universe he could hang with the biggest stars in WWE and more than hold his own.
1 Worst: AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose (TLC 2016)
Both AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose are indie darlings; the former building a legacy for over a decade on the independent circuit before debuting with WWE and the latter known for his extreme wrestling matches as Jon Moxley. Like his WWE bout against Nakamura, this should have been a lot better than it was.
Ambrose was struggling to find momentum due to Creative's booking decisions and the ill-timed interjection of James Ellsworth hurt this match more than it helped it.