The Story of AJ Styles

THE STORY AND CAREER OF AJ STYLES

See the source image

Article written by Dylan Devine (8/12/20)

In today’s article I will be discussing the story and career of AJ Styles.

Time in Ring of Honor

See the source image

In 2002 Styles made his debut in ROH. This is where his career really kicked off. He spent two years in the company and had matches with guys like Low-Ki, Christopher Daniels, Davey Richards, Samoa Joe, and Matt Sydal. He departed from the company in 2004.

Beginnings in NWA and World Championship run

See the source image

The NWA signed Styles to a non exclusive contract in 2002 which is how he still wrestled in ROH. In his first few months in the company he managed to win both the X-Division Championship and the NWA World Tag Team Championships alongside Jerry Lynn. He ended up losing both titles before the fall of 2002 and went on to begin looking to become NWA World Heavyweight Champion. He failed in his first attempt against then champion, Jeff Jarrett but won the title in his second attempt defeating Jarrett and Raven for the title. Styles went on to successfully defend his championship against the likes of Raven, D-Lo Brown, Low-Ki, Frankie Kazarian, and Jerry Lynn. He then lost the title to Jeff Jarrett in 2003. Later that year he won the belt back from Jarrett winning his second World Championship.

Return to the X-Division

See the source image

After his second world title run, Styles began competing in the X-Division again. in 2004 he became a three time X-Division Champion after defeating Frankie Kazarian. He lost the title a few months later in an Ultimate X match. He began trying to regain the title after losing it. This led to him feuding with then champion, Petey Williams. Styles and Williams put on some great matches and at Final Resolution 2005 Styles defeated him to regain the X-Division Championship. Styles ending up losing the title yet again in another Ultimate X match. He won the title back later that year at Unbreakable and was now a five time X-Division Champion. Styles lost the title again, but then went on to have his sixth reign in 2006.

First ever TNA Grand Slam Champion

See the source image

For a few years Styles had various feuds and was apart of a few alliances, but in 2009 he finally won another championship. At Against All Odds that year he defeated Booker T to become the new TNA Legends World Champion. This now meant that Styles was the first ever TNA Grand Slam Champion. Styles lost the championship a few months later.

TNA World Heavyweight Champion

See the source image

After losing the TNA Legends Championship, Styles began looking to become TNA World Champion. At No Surrender 2009 his aspirations came true. He won his first TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The crowd went absolutely insane when Styles won. They even all came into the ring to celebrate alongside Styles. This went down as one of the best moments in TNA history. I will leave the link to a video of this at the bottom of the page. Styles was now the defending champion and defended the title against Sting, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, and other familiar faces. He ended up turning heel a few months into his reign and aligned himself with Ric Flair.

“The New Nature Boy”

See the source image

After aligning with Flair, Styles became proclaiming himself as “The New Nature Boy”. He basically began mocking Flair’s gimmick and would even wear similar robes that Flair wore. This gimmick lasted the remaining few months as his time as champion before losing the title to Rob Van Dam on an episode of Impact. He held the title for 211 days.

His time in “Fortune”

See the source image

Styles formed a new alliance with Bobby Roode, James Storm, and Frankie Kazarian with Ric Flair being the manager. The group was basically a rip off of The Four Horsemen. The most notable thing that came out of Styles time in fortune was winning the TNA Global Championship.

His final years in TNA

See the source image

In his final years in TNA now known as Impact Wrestling Styles had various feuds with the likes of Bully Ray, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian, and Magnus. He won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship once during his final years in the company. Styles became frustrated with the company and specifically Dixie Carter, and left after not re-signing in 2014.

Return to the indies

See the source image

After leaving TNA in 2014, Styles made his return for a run in ROH. He put on some great matches with Roderick Strong, Jay Lethal, and Chris Hero.

NJPW

See the source image

Styles also had a run in NJPW after leaving TNA. He began a feud with Kazuchika Okada challenging for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. He won this title twice during his run in NJPW. Also during this run, he put on one of the greatest matches of all time against Shinsuke Nakamura.

Bullet Club

See the source image

During his time in ROH and NJPW Styles aligned himself with the then hottest group in pro wrestling, the Bullet Club. The group turned on him when Styles announced he would be leaving NJPW.

WWE debut

See the source image

After so many years of wrestling fans waiting for Styles to arrive in the WWE, he debuted at the 2016 Royal Rumble. Styles came out at number three and got one of the loudest pops of all time. During his first few months in the WWE he was apart of a storyline with Chris Jericho which reached it’s climax at WrestleMania 32. This was Styles first WrestleMania, and it was certainly a good one as he and Jericho put on a very good match.

First WWE Championship run

See the source image

On the Monday Night Raw following WrestleMania 32 Styles won a match to become the number one contender for the WWE Championship. He eventually won his first WWE Championship at Backlash 2016 after defeating Dean Ambrose. He held the title for 140 days and ended up losing the championship to John Cena at the 2017 Royal Rumble. After losing the title to Cena, Styles went on to win the United States Championship in 2017 defeating Kevin Owens for the title. He lost the title to Owens a few weeks after winning it for the first time, but regained it a few nights later now beginning his second reign as U.S Champion. Styles held the title for 75 days but ended up losing it to Baron Corbin.

Historic WWE Championship reign

See the source image

On the November 7th, 2017 edition of SmackDown, Styles defeated Jinder Mahal to begin his second reign as WWE Champion. After holding the title for 280 days he became the longest reigning WWE Champion in SmackDown history. Styles lost the championship to Daniel Bryan in 2018 ending his 371 days as champion.

The Club

See the source image

Styles had a brief stint forming a trio known as “The Club” with his two close friends, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows in his first year in the WWE. They ended up disbanding after awhile but reunited in 2019. At Extreme Rules 2019 Styles defeated Ricochet to win his third United States Championship and went on to hold it for 134 days. His biggest feud during his time with The Club was with the Undertaker. This feud led to a match at WrestleMania 36 which was labeled a “Boneyard Match” between the two. It ended up being a cinematic match due to COVID circumstances, but was still fantastic. Styles will likely go down as the Undertaker’s last opponent.

Intercontinental Champion/present times

See the source image

After losing to the Undertaker at WrestleMania 36, Styles had a brief hiatus from WWE television. He returned and was “traded” to SmackDown but this really just happened because Styles had issues with Paul Heyman and didn’t want to stay on Raw anymore. After arriving on SmackDown, Styles captured the Intercontinental Championship for the first time. As I am writing this he is still champion. AJ Styles will without a doubt go down as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and is currently considered by many as the best wrestler in the world right now.

Video of Styles winning the TNA World Championship for the first time : https://youtu.be/gqgmU4yLA9U

%d bloggers like this: