AJ Styles deserves respect as one of the best of this generation

AJ Styles is a generational talent and one of the best still going today.
Backlash France
Backlash France / WWE/GettyImages

WWE Backlash was called a “B-Show” with many people complaining about the match card before any of the competitors stepped into the ring. Then, AJ Styles and Cody Rhodes took place as the main event of the show and blew the doors off what was already an amazing crowd. Both men were showered with praise, but it was even more amazing to see Styles get a crazy response both with the crowd and online. It was a reminder that Styles is one of the best performers in the world. 

Saying that AJ Styles is one of the greatest of this generation shouldn't be a statement that catches people off guard. Yes, this generation includes names like Kazuchika Okada, Bryan Danielson, Seth Rollins, and others. But Styles deserves acclaim right up there with each of them. After being shunned by the WWE back in 2002, he’d spend the next 14 years carving out a path that resulted in many thinking he was the best to not be in the WWE. That was a spot that he rightfully deserved. He’d put on some excellent performances while maturing as a character - all the while carrying TNA and Impact Wrestling on his back. When he finally ventured outside of that company, his run in NJPW before coming to WWE further cemented that claim. He showed people that he can work outside the confines of what was considered a small organization. 

Styles’s run in WWE has left many of his biggest fans desiring for more. Even though he’s held the WWE Championship twice, it never feels like he was the top guy of the company. That further becomes the argument when you look at the last few years of his tenure. 

This match against Rhodes was Styles’s “Y’all musta forgot” moment. He reminded the world just who he is and demanded that respect gets put on his name. Even at 46-years old, he can still put on a performance that fits with the best in the game today. It will be interesting to see how WWE presents Styles in what he’s already deemed the twilight of his career. Wrestling may not have much more time with him and giving him a proper exit should be a priority. One that should mean holding a championship of some sort on the way out. 

WWE has an opportunity to give AJ Styles a lot of love under this new creative direction. The reaction from fans around the world to his match against Cody Rhodes at Backlash is a testament to what he’s achieved and how the fans feel about him. If his time is really coming to a close, WWE must give him the right type of sendoff as he is one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of this generation.