WILW: AJ Styles

So it’s Mega Man month here at Geekade. In looking for a way to tie in my weekly Why I Love Wrestling column with our month long tribute to the blue bomber I figured why not highlight the current and former members of New Japan’s stable of villains, the Bullet Club. (you know because pew pew…) Kicking off our month long look at the BC is a focus on its former leader AJ Styles.

At the time of this writing, all rumors point to AJ Styles being one of the newest signees to WWE. At the recent New Years Dash event in Japan, Styles was excommunicated as leader of the Bullet Club. (and received a standing ovation from the Japanese crowd afterwards) If he does indeed debut for WWE it will be a long time coming. Styles has been wrestling for a long time. His debut match came in 1998 for a now defunct NCW promotion in Georgia. That promotion merged with NWA Georgia to become NWA Wlidside. He would wrestle for NWA Wildside on and off until 2005. During that time Styles also wrestled, albeit briefly, for WCW, WWF now WWE, and ROH. His Ring of Honor run was the most memorable of these resulting is some awesome feuds and absolutely stellar matches. It was his signing with TNA though, that brought AJ to national recognition. Styles was TNA for all intents and purposes. His run with TNA lasted twelve years. In that time he won every single title TNA had multiple times, becoming a triple crown champion and eventual grand slam champion. He wrestled as both heel and face, serious fighter and comedy relief. He did everything one could possibly hope to do with one company and in 2014, he left. He returned to ROH and wrestled a few independent shows, but it was his debut for NJPW in 2014 that really cemented AJ as one of the top performers in the world. His two year run with the company as the leader of the Bullet Club will go down as one of the most well booked and performed runs in wrestling history. AJ Styles won the NJPW IWGP Heavyweight title in his first match becoming only the sixth non-Japanese wrestler to hold the belt and the first American since Brock Lesnar in 2005. It is a badge of honor he should be damn proud of. At 38, Styles has done almost everything in the world of wrestling. Everything except WWE. Which to be honest, has been their loss.

AJ Styles is one of the most fun performers to watch. Everything the guy does in the ring is super crisp. Everything has impact. There is no wasted motion with AJ. He can do the high flying stuff as well, if not better than most. (yay vanilla midget flippy shit…) He can brawl as well as anyone. His in-ring psychology is second to none. His work as a more comedy relief character in TNA was genuinely funny and his super serious run as the lone wolf was completely badass. He is a guy who can do anything he wants with the material given to him. His finisher is one of the most controversial but badass finishers in the business. Presented below are some of his more memorable matches from across his career. Check them out if you want to see a guy who, against all odds, seems to be only getting better. Make sure to follow me on twitter, @geekadedan, and instagram, @geekadedan, and let me know what you think about AJ Styles and what his role may be in WWE. For my money, he should be instantly in the main title picture. There are some legit dream matchups just waiting for a spotlight. AJ vs Seth Rollins is an absolute must. Matches against Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Finn Balor are about as no-brainer as it gets. I’m super excited for what he does next and cannot wait for him to debut. 

*English Commentary* NJPW AJ Styles vs Suzuki… by NJPWEnglish

AJ Styles vs Kazuchika Okada – NJPW Wrestling… by Prowrestling00

Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. AJ Styles (New… by mbahbomaye

Dan Ryan

Dan Ryan was once the most feared and respected luchador in the world until the "Great DDT Disaster of '85" where Dan unfortunately DDT'd his opponent so hard into the ground that he opened a gate to the underworld that let unholy things into this world. After that, Dan refused to wrestle anymore but he's found new life writing and talking about his favorite hobbies here at Geekade. He pens the weekly Why I Love Wrestling series, co-hosts The Stone Age Gamer Podcast, expertly pairs video games with beer, and much, much more. Dan is a personality that Geekade simply would not be the same without.

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