Chances are you’ve heard of AJ Styles by now. If you missed his stint in the Royal Rumble, you may have caught him beating Chris Jericho on his Raw debut, or watched him on Smackdown Thursday night. But who is he exactly? He also goes by The Phenomenal One, and up until about a week ago he was dubbed the hottest free agent in the world. Now he’s a well paid member of the WWE roster.
In all honesty you could make a solid argument that AJ Styles is the most talented wrestler in the world right now. In 2010, he was number one on PWI's annual list of top 500 wrestlers, the first time a TNA wrestler had been awarded that particular accolade. He’s 38 now and therefore still at his peak in the ring, but by the same token he’s relatively late to the WWE party. In any event the WWE have significantly boosted its roster with the addition of AJ Styles.
For more than a decade he was the face of TNA. Along the way he’s seen the likes of Sting, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Ric Flair and the Hardy Boyz come into that company, but Styles had been the one constant until his sudden departure at the end of 2013.
He’s accumulated a shed full of titles and accomplishments through the years, not only at TNA but at several other brands all over the world. And it’s not hard to see why. He's technically brilliant in the ring, he’s an excellent worker and perhaps most crucially of all he knows how to involve the crowd in a match. He’s just as good from the top of the turnbuckle as he is going toe to toe with the big guys on the mat. He’s inventive and creative, and was a much loved and respected figure in TNA. How exactly the WWE uses him remains to be seen, but the options are endless.
Here’s 15 things you should know about AJ Styles.
15 He Rejected WWE Back In 2002
14 He Also Had A Brief Run In WCW
13 He Nearly Went Back To TNA
TNA released a statement two days before the Royal Rumble claiming that a written agreement had been struck and signed to re-sign AJ Styles, along with wrestlers Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. Barely 48 hours later AJ Styles emerged as the third entrant in the Royal Rumble match, confirming once and for all that he'd signed with WWE.
12 He Was Good Friends With Chris Candido
11 He Knows Ric Flair Very Well
10 He's Been In A Country Music Video
9 The Meaning of his Tattoo
8 He's A Devout Christian
AJ Styles falls into the same boat as the likes of Sting, Ted DiBiase and Shawn Michaels in that he is strongly devoted to God. Speaking on the subject of wrestlers who find God, Styles once said "This wrestling business is so hard that when it comes right down to it, when they hit the bottom, they realize what's important, and it's not wrestling," said Styles.
7 He Once Made A Gay Slur During A Promo
6 He Has Similar Credentials To Brock Lesnar
5 He Has An Awesome Move Set
4 The Styles Clash Is A Real Life Neckbreaker
As impressive as AJ Styles' finisher is, it's proven to be very dangerous. Several wrestlers have suffered a broken neck for failing to take the move correctly. Former WWE star Yoshi Tatsu broke two bones in his neck in 2014 after landing incorrectly. Wrestlers are encouraged to tuck their heads in to survive most dangerous looking moves but for the Styles Clash, the opposite is necessary.
3 He Believes Hulk Hogan Joining TNA Was A Failure
2 He's A Real Rags To Riches Story
1 He's Won Everything
Well, just about everything he could have won. Three times he was the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and four times he held the NWA tag team crown. He's a two time TNA World Heavyweight Champion and two time tag team champion, one of which came alongside Kurt Angle. He also won the company's X Division Championship six times, and the Television Championship twice. He's been the champion at several other promotions including Ring Of Honour, Revolution Pro Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and even the Christian Wrestling Federation among many more. You get the feeling it won't be too long before he adds a WWE belt of some type to that list.
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