Sunday, March 15, 2015

Featured Wrestler- AJ Styles

Without a single doubt, I can say that one of my personal favorite wrestlers is AJ Styles.  And I will freely admit that part of that is due to him being one of our hometown guys, being that he perfected his craft over at NWA Wildside, which then led to his legendary TNA run.  Ok, it's not legendary, but he definitely was always one of the best parts of their show.  Though TNA isn't well regarded as a whole, many regard his matches with Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels stand as one of the best of the decade. Personally, I would add some of his NWA Wildside matches to that list as well. 

The whole point of this entry is to highlight Mr. Styles and his rejuvenation since leaving the company.  Many knew he wouldn't be going to the WWE and they were right, however, he seems to be doing just fine working New Japan Pro Wrestling and many various independent promotions across the US including Ring of Honor.  Since leaving he's found a new lease in his wrestling life becoming the leader of the faction named The Bullet Club.

upload credit: MrWrestlingMVz

In watching many various promos and matches in New Japan and other places, it's obvious Styles is the standout star among his fellow Bullet Club member, despite being one of the smaller members in stature.  And this comes from many smart fans claiming he doesn't have that star and drawing power.  Well, he seems to have it when he's filling up buildings for places that had trouble drawing when he wasn't there for the promotions and since joining New Japan, him, along with their homegrown guys like Tanahashi, Okada and Nakamura have also given new life to the puroresu scene, which seems to have stagnated in the last few years.  

Biggest reason why I'm highlighting Mr. Styles today?  Well, I had received word from NWA Smoky Mountain that they're bringing him in for a dream match that I have been talking about for a few years now on the A1 Podcast.  And it's enough time for me to make preparations and make the trip to Kingsport, TN for the show.  It's been a long time since I've been to TN for a show and I think this would be a great time to come back. 

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