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AJ Styles

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3 hours ago, strobogo said:

There's always the comparisons with HBK and you know, HBK also some feuds and matches that should have been much better than they were (like almost the entirety of his face run in 1996 for instance) that people don't seem to hold against him. 

To be fair, I think people here at least very much hold it against him 

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I had AJ at 98 in 2016 and I'm not really sure what to do with him next time. I don't, like, LIKE Styles that much, but I went and watched some of the New Japan run just before the 2016 deadline and some of that stuff was great, which got him onto my list. I have no use for Tetsuya Naito one way or the other but the Styles match ruled and Styles was awesome in it. The Suzuki match was fantastic. I've since gone back and watched some 00s ROH-era Styles and he was really good there as well, which will sound redundant to people who are already a fan of his but I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. The Rave feud when he came back in 2005 has been a blast and Styles working surly as a bastard is amazing and I'm hyped about watching the Fight Without Honour (or whatever stipulation it is). Clearly very good in 2003 and the triple threat with Low-Ki and Paul London still holds up as being a spectacular spotfest almost 20 years later, which is sort of nuts when you think about it. That also highlights his longevity because he was involved in that Bryan match from the end of 2018 that was also great. TNA has become less of a joke now that some have revisited it, but honestly, I really don't have any interest in doing that myself, so I guess that particular stretch of his career in that particular wrestling promotion will always be a mystery to me (well, outside of 2005, which I watched in real time, but I doubt I'll go back to that either). The WWE run is fine and I should watch the Reigns series, I guess. Honestly, Styles could just as easily finish 98 again as he could 81 as he could off my list entirely. I have absolutely no affinity to him though, so if it comes down to picking him or a favourite like Herodes or Espectrito then I'm afraid he's out on his arse. 



v Paul London v Low-Ki (ROH One Year Anniversary Show, 2/8/03)

v Jimmy Rave (ROH Third Anniversary Celebration - Night 2, 2/25/05)

v Samoa Joe (TNA Turning Point, 12/11/05)

v Minoru Suzuki (New Japan, 8/1/14)

v Daniel Bryan (WWE TLC 12/16/18)

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Not going back to watch TNA AJ stuff is a mistake, that dude was putting in the highest quality work from the weekly PPV era all the way to his end with the company, no matter how stupid or shitty he was booked or what spot on the card he was on. 


You can basically just go look at cagematch and if you see a match with a name that interests you between 2002-2013 and it's a match with AJ, you can be sure it's at least going to be decent. This dude was getting solid matches out of guys like Mike Sanders, Raven, Larry Zbyszko, Dusty Rhodes in 2002-2003 just a couple of years into his career while also having the best junior stuff in the US at the time with the Lynn/Low Ki/Red types at the same time.

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I had him at 45 in 2016 

I wrote this in my evaluations doc

AJ got up this high in 2016 based on the strength of the NJPW run and the early parts of his WWE run when he was tearing it up night in and out. Since 2016, he had a killer 1.5 years in WWE and then he’s faltered a bit and it’s not his fault as he’s aging and his level of push but I feel it might hurt him in the 2026 round of voting. The timing of the 2016 vote was almost as well timed as when he jumped ship. I still think there’s a lot of overlooked TNA stuff that he was in and the hyped stuff still holds up. I think he’s become a savvy veteran.



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