AJ Styles is the current WWE Champion and known as one of the premier stars within the company. Now a multi-time Champion, the cover athlete for WWE 2K19 and the face of SmackDown Live- his career with WWE wasn’t always meant to go this way.
In an interview with Dirtfork, Styles revealed that he was originally perceived by WWE to be a simple mid-card talent and be treated as such. However, Vince McMahon saw something in Styles early on, which led to Styles receiving a push and becoming the man he is today.
Here is what the Champion had to say:
“From my understanding, I was looked at as a mid-card at best in the WWE. That was the plan and I was okay with that because it was still a great job, a great payday and a great way to take care of my family. I didn’t necessarily think that’s where I was going to be but there was that time when I made my debut and fans knew who I was in Orlando. They made some noise and it was pretty great. Vince [McMahon] assumed it was a fluke. He didn’t think too much of A.J. Styles. I don’t even think I was supposed to be on Raw that next Monday. But the turning point where Vince really saw something in me was when I had a regular match, a babyface match, went out and did my thing. I came back to gorilla and Vince says, ‘Come here for a second. I’ve got other guys who can do exactly what you just did out there. You didn’t do anything special. I need a pit bull. I need a guy who just attacks. I need a guy who gets after it.’ I said, ‘Well, I know that guy. I know exactly who that guy is’ and there was the opportunity to be on Miz TV and I handled it just like I was ready to eat this guy’s lunch and basically, I think the way that turned out was the turning point for Vince. The next thing you know, after WrestleMania, I’m beating Chris Jericho and I’m the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship against Roman Reigns where we had a couple of fantastic matches. That was the turning point. That’s when things changed and that’s how I became the A.J. Styles that you know now.”
As you can see, Styles was completely content with being in a mid-card position, as the WWE contract paid well for him so he could support his family. However, most fans would agree that McMahon was right to take a chance on Styles as WWE right now would be extremely different had “The Phenomenal One” never made it to main event status.
What is your reaction to this? Do you see Styles as a main event talent? Let us know in those comments below!