WWE SmackDown Superstar Profile and Grades: AJ Styles


A look at the profile of WWE SmackDown star AJ Styles.

AJ Styles is the current number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. At the September 11 SmackDown only Backlash pay-per-view event, Styles could win his first championship in the company that he debuted with at this year’s Royal Rumble. Here’s a closer look at “The Phenomenal One” AJ Styles.

Name: AJ Styles

Age: 39

Career Accomplishments: No WWE Titles yet. New Japan’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship (2x), TNA Heavyweight Champion (2x), NWA Heavyweight Champion (3x) and many other titles as well.

WWE Main Roster Debut: January 2016 (Wrestling debut was 1998)

For most of the last 15 years, AJ Styles was known as the best wrestler that was not in WWE. Then he signed a contract with them in early January, debuted later that month at the Royal Rumble one of the loudest ovations in a long time and has gone on to arguably be the best performer in WWE this year. He’s already headlined multiple pay-per-view events, he has beat John Cena twice in PPV matches and now he’s on the brink if his first WWE Title as he faces Dean Ambrose at Backlash. Even though he’s nearly 40 years old, this WWE “rookie” (a silly term that Chris Jericho used to get the crowd to boo him) is setting the wrestling world on fire.

Workrate (In-ring Performance)

Styles is the best in-ring performer in WWE and arguably the best in the world as well. He’s able to have great matches with anybody as he’s shown so far in his WWE run. His three main rivalries have been with John Cena, Roman Reigns, and Chris Jericho. The two main event matches with Reigns were possibly the best matches that Reigns has ever had while the Cena match at SummerSlam was the WWE Match of the Year for a lot of people.

There’s nothing he can’t do in a ring. He has great technical wrestling skills, he can fly as well as anybody, he has believable submission holds and multiple moves that he can win a match with (Styles Clash, Phenomenal Forearm & Calf Crusher). There really are no flaws in his game, so to speak.

There are very few American wrestlers worthy of an A+ rating for work rate. Names like Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle come to mind when they were in their prime. Styles is in that class after his performances this year, so he deserves it too. Grade: A+

Related Story: WWE SmackDown Superstar Profile: Dean Ambrose


This is an area where Styles has really improved in the last few years. In the earlier part of his TNA run, he wasn’t that good on the microphone. It just didn’t come off as natural. He got a bit better over time, then he went to Japan for two years and developed more of a heel persona as leader of the Bullet Club. Now he’s in WWE and doing a great job as a cocky heel that believes in himself while also being able to run down his opponents too.

That bit he did with The Club where he said “Beat Up John Cena” repeatedly to the point that people would react in a big way to it showed that he can get his point across well. He went from being a below average talker to somebody that’s above average. Give him a lot of credit for improving on a weakness. Grade: B+


Styles looks like a pretty basic wrestler…with the soccer mom hair. Yeah that’s right, he has that soccer mom hair. It’s not a common look especially for a guy that’s nearly 40 years old, but he seems to like it. The good thing is that as a heel, it’s easy for the face wrestler to make fun of it as a way to get the crowd to laugh. It’s effective in that sense.

His entrance and theme song are among the best in WWE. The “Don’t Want None” song that is simply called “Phenomenal” has a great beat to it with that DMX vibe. Unlike most of the roster, he gets some fireworks for his entrance as well. That’s a nice addition to his act because it makes a character look important when they get that pyro to help them stand out more. Grade: B+


Styles has only been in WWE for about eight months, yet he’s already been a face and a heel. It was a no brainer to start him out as a face because he was new and the crowd loved him right away. Chris Jericho ended up turning on him to set up their WrestleMania match, which Styles should have won. Shortly after that feud ended, Styles went on to challenge Roman Reigns as a face challenger for two great PPV matches. Then John Cena came back, Styles got in the ring with him for the first time and proceeded to turn heel. It was a shocking twist in a WWE year where they really haven’t had a lot of shocking twists.

The character is pretty basic because he’s just that wrestler that brags about how good he is and he’s able to back it up in the ring. When he was with The Club he was able to show off his humorous side once in a while. As a singles wrestler, it’s more about delivering serious promos. Sure, he might joke once in a while, but he’s still going to be that jock that talks about how great he is. It works because of how good he is in the ring. Grade: B+

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Future Outlook

At 39 years of age, Styles may not have ten more years in WWE, but let’s hope he has at least five more years as a full timer. It’s a shame that it took him this long to get to WWE because if he had arrived five years earlier he probably could have cemented his legacy by now. There’s still time, though. He’s in the right place now and the sky is the limit in terms of how far he can go.

Styles is likely going to be the next WWE Champion whether he wins it in September or October. He’ll probably feud with John Cena again to end the year or start early next year. After that, who knows? A familiar rival like Samoa Joe or Shinsuke Nakamura could pop up. Perhaps he could even turn face to feud with Brock Lesnar at some point. They’re on different shows right now, but that doesn’t have to last forever.

Styles is the best performer in WWE right now because of the experience he has working all over the world, his natural athletic ability that has seen him do some incredible things and the company truly believes in him even though he hasn’t even been there for one year. Natural wrestling ability is great to have, but when the WWE machine is behind you like they appear to be with him, it’s only going to help him become more successful.

Overall Grade (Not An Average): A

Next: Forecasting John Cena's Future In WWE

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