It’s hard to think of now but there was a time when there was a very real concern that AJ Styles, one of the best wrestlers in the world, simply wouldn’t fit in once he came to WWE. His size and the way he works led to questions.
He answered most of those on the first night in, with a great showing in the Royal Rumble — where he looked every bit the part opposite the chosen one, Roman Reigns — followed up by an incredible run that has led him to the WWE world championship and the top star on SmackDown Live.
The transition, as he told NBC Sports, was easy:
“Every guy that I’ve worked here in the WWE has been great. I think they understand that it’s not about them, it’s not about me, it’s about the match and about making sure that people enjoy what they’re seeing because if we work together and put on a good product, we’ll keep those fans.”
That’s awful nice of him to say but let’s call it like it is: AJ Styles is the very best wrestler on the planet right now and this run has proven that. It isn’t just that he’s a great wrestler who has consistently delivered incredible matches against a variety of opponents, all of them top stars in their own right, it’s that he’s been accepted by the WWE fan base for exactly what he is. His work is so appreciated, he still gets loud cheers even while working heel.
That it was so easy for him just reinforces his excellence.
We’re not worthy.