Nowadays, AJ Styles is one of the top stars in all of WWE. However, there was once a time where AJ Styles in WWE seemed like a pipe dream at best.
AJ Styles spent over a decade of his career in TNA Wrestling, he was one of the major names that was synonymous with the brand. However, when he left TNA in 2013 to go pursue other opportunities, Styles says he was met with a lot of doubt and a lot of people within the organization that told him he wasn’t worth what he thought he was.
“‘I’m going to go show you.’ I’m going to show everybody that I am worth [more.] I’m going to bet on myself. That’s what they didn’t understand either, is that these guys that were kind of ripping me for not being loyal to TNA, they didn’t understand that not only was I leaving and going to pursue something else, I was literally betting on myself. That’s a risk that not a lot of people are willing to take,” AJ Styles tells Corey Graves on the latest episode of the WWE After The Bell podcast. “I was willing to take that risk and it paid off, granted. But, you know, man, it just really, really bothered me that those same guys were also the ones that said, ‘Oh, he’ll never make it in WWE. But I will say this to their credit, they basically said, ‘well, we were wrong. He had what it takes to be a star in the WWE. So, to their credit.”
As far as his own doubts, AJ Styles knew he would have to become better on the microphone in order to succeed in WWE.
“When you come to WWE, you’ve got to be able to go on the microphone. You’ve got to be able to use it well, or at least decently,” he’d say. “I admit that I’m not the best promo guy in the world, you know, but anything you do enough, you’ll get better at it. That was the biggest thing that I knew that I had to conquer was getting in the ring and cutting a decent promo. But the entertainment thing, I think that’s always been there. I don’t think that’s very difficult. As long as you give guys the opportunity to be themselves, sometimes. Ron Killings (R-Truth) is the same way, like this guy, his timing… it’s entertainment, man. And we have to give everyone everything. We can’t just be a wrestling show.”
AJ Styles participated in a very acclaimed cinematic match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 36, proving that he is not afraid to try and give everyone everything.
If you use any of the above quotes, transcription credit should go to Robert DeFelice of WrestleZone.