AJ Styles debuted for WWE earlier this year, shockingly entering the Royal Rumble at number 3. The WWE Universe immediately met Styles with a huge reception. Fans chant his name so vociferously he regularly overshadows the rest of the roster. It’s no secret that a good deal of the people loudly chanting for him became fans of his well before his appearance in WWE this January. In fact, some people have been fans of AJ for well over a decade before he made his official debut, with fans following him across various promotions and countries until he finally made the big time.
Prior to January, AJ was arguably the biggest name in modern professional wrestling never to officially sign with WWE. He was a huge star in ROH, TNA, NJPW, PWG, and NWA, winning world titles nearly everywhere he went. It hasn’t all been positive, but it mostly has, and WWE has been virtually ignoring it since his debut. In fact, there are certain elements of AJ’s career prior to joining WWE that Vince McMahon and company might flat out prefer you forget. Facts about AJ like…
12 He Wrestled For WCW
11 He Turned Down WWE
10 He Lost To R-Truth
9 He Feuded With Samoa Joe
8 He Was The Breakout Star of TNA
7 He Defined the X Division
6 He Feuded With Kurt Angle
5 Everything Involving Claire Lynch
In 2012, after proving himself as one of the best wrestlers in TNA and the world for the better part of a decade, AJ Styles was the centerpiece of arguably the worst angle in TNA history. After reigniting their feud, Christopher Daniels planned to humiliate AJ by revealing AJ was having an affair with TNA’s owner, Dixie Carter. It would turn out there was no affair, but rather the two of them were attempting to help a family friend through rehab.
4 AJ Is Very Proud of His Past Work
3 He's Been In A Bunch of Tag Teams
2 He Has Back Problems
1 He's Made Homophobic Comments
The Internet has made a habit out of searching through a performer’s past and seeking out hateful or hurtful comments they may have made, but no such sleuthing was needed for AJ. Live on one of NWA: TNA’s weekly Pay-Per-Views in 2003, AJ Styles called Glenn Gilberti, better known as Disco Inferno, a “faggot.” AJ was a babyface when he made the comments, putting him alongside the Briscoe Brothers in terms of understanding social trends. It’s well known that AJ is a devout Christian, and we won’t comment on anyone’s personal beliefs, but it is relevant his fellow believers don’t typically have they best track record when it comes to supporting gay rights. AJ was also heard screaming the epithet at Chris Sabin while shooting promo videos for NoDQ.com. More than any issue with his career, WWE probably won’t ever allow this aspect of AJ’s past to become a public issue.
Sources: WWE, PW Insider
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