ClickWrestler of the Week - 9/25/09 - AJ Styles
HeadLocker -- Jay Shannon
Our resident philosopher profiles "The Phenomenal One", A.J. Styles.
Styles has been a cornerstone of TNA for many years. A.J. Styles, the new World champion, has been one of the key players in TNA, since day one. He's held every possible title in the company. He's been involved with top storylines, as both a face and a heel. Styles went through a rough time, even considering retirement. Sting came to Styles' aid and pushed him to give it another try. Sting was instrumental in leading Styles to the World title.
The Early Days
Allen Jones began his wrestling career in the spring of 1999 as part of the roster of National Championship Wrestling. That organization would later become NWA Wildside. Jones began his career as Mr. Olympia. When NCW merged with NWA Georgia to form NWA Wildside, Jones was re-christened A.J. Styles. The A.J., of course, related to Jones' real name.
The WCW Air Raid
In the Spring of 2001, WCW was expanding their Cruiserweight division. Styles, along with Air Paris, were recruited to form a tag team known as Air Raid. The team was somewhat successful, but they left after only a few months. Both men returned to NWA Wildside.
Taking a walk on the Wildside
After his short stint in WCW, Styles began to excel in NWA Wildside. Styles came to the attention of WWE scouts. Styles got a try-out match against The Hurricane. Styles actually turned down a WWE developmental deal to stay in the independents. In addition to his work in NWA Wildside, Styles had a great deal of success in the WWA promotion. He began to compete against some of the men who would join him, later on, in TNA. Some of his earliest feuds were against Christopher Daniels and Jerry Lynn.
TNA--Total Non-Stop A.J.
When Jeff and Jerry Jarrett decided to create TNA, they looked to the independents to find talent. Styles was one of the first people to join the company. Styles was the very first X-Division Champion. He was also part of the first tag team (with Jerry Lynn) to hold the TNA tag titles. During the early years in TNA, Styles also worked for Ring of Honor. He traded victories with Low-Ki (Senshi), Christopher Daniels, Amazing Red and others in both promotions. Styles has held the World title on 3 occasions, the tag titles on 4 occasions and the X-Division title on 4 occasions. He is the most decorated star in the company's history. He has feuded with almost every major star in the federation's history. Styles has held the tag belts with four different partners (Jerry Lynn, Abyss, Christopher Daniels and Tomko).
In recent years, Styles has moved into a more supportive role in the company. He held the tag belts with Tomko for several months, but was seen as the weak link in the team. This was unfortunate, because Styles' talent is off the charts. Styles has been over-looked due to his rather goofy character. Over the past few months, Styles began to grow close to Kurt Angle's wife, Karen. On a memorable episode of Impact, Styles actually "married" Karen during a mixed-up wedding renewal of vows between Kurt and Karen. This has set up a on-going love triangle between A.J., Kurt and Karen. Kurt rejected his wife in favor of his quest for the TNA World Title. Karen turned to Styles for comfort. A blossoming romance (story-wise) has emerged between the two. Tomko and Kurt both began to push Styles, recently. Tomko blamed Styles for the loss of the tag titles. Kurt questioned Styles' feelings for Karen. That would lead to a feud that lasted until Karen was released from the company.
Rebounding from Rock Bottom
Styles went through a major slump after his program with Angle. He was lost when Tomko left for the WWE. Eventually, Styles would join forces with others to battle the Main Event Mafia. Styles took first blood by taking the Legends title from Booker T. Styles rarely defended the crimson belt, before dropping it to Kevin Nash. That began Styles' questioning of himself. Styles came onto Impact to announce his retirement. Sting rushed out and gave a heart-ripping speech where he claimed that he came to TNA to "pass the torch" to A.J. Sting told Styles to quit turning himself into a quitter. Styles then moved forward to earn a title shot at No Surrender. Kurt Angle, the then-TNA World champion, taunted Styles about being a loser and having no chance of taking his belt. At the PPV, Styles was basically given the pin by Sting, after the four men involved (Sting, Styles, Matt Morgan and Angle) put on a clinic in wrestling. Styles now stands atop the mountain with quite a few men looking to knock him off his perch.
A.J. Styles is the most decorated man in TNA history. He's held every title in the company, most of them multiple times. He is the cornerstone of TNA and this week's Wrestler of the Week. Be sure to check out all the facts on him at OnlineWorldofWrestling.com and the video clips of him in action at ClickWrestle.com.