You wouldn’t be laughed out of a room for saying that AJ Styles is one of the best professional wrestlers of not only this generation, but arguably all time. However, some people still doubted if the “Phenomenal One” would ever make it in WWE.
Styles’ journey to WWE is rather unique. After years of wrestling across the globe, most notably for TNA and NJPW, Styles joined WWE in 2016 at the age of 38-years-old. Despite his age, AJ has had some truly fantastic matches in his four years with the company with the likes of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Shinsuke Nakamura, John Cena and more.
Speaking to Corey Graves on the After the Bell podcast, AJ Styles commented on the people who said that he would never make it in WWE:
“If you want to put a chip on my shoulder basically tell me that I’m not worth what I’m asking for. I feel like that’s what happened to me [in Impact Wrestling]. ‘Everything you did for us, it was great, but you’re not worth as much as you’re thinking you are.’ — ‘Okay I’m gonna go show you I’m gonna show everybody that I am worth… I’m gonna bet on myself.’
“That’s what they didn’t understand either is that these guys who were kinda ribbing me for not being loyal to TNA they didn’t understand that not only was I leaving to go pursue something else [but] I was literally betting on myself. That’s a risk that not a lot of people are willing to take and I was willing to take that risk and it paid off.
“Those same guys are the same who said ‘Ah, he’ll never make it in WWE.’ I will say this to their credit. They said basically that they were wrong.”
Styles not only made it to the WWE, but is a two-time WWE Champion and a three-time United States Champion. Styles has the chance to become an Intercontinental Champion for the first-time in his career in two weeks when he goes one-on-one with Daniel Bryan in a match that is said to have been fantastic.