Allen Neal Jones, (born in 1977) is a professional wrestler who debuted in 1998 with National Championship Wrestling in Georgia as Mr. Olympia. NCW would then merge with NWA Georgia to become NWA Wildside, where he would take up the name he is much better known by, AJ Styles. AJ's exploits would earn him recognition from WCW, who briefly repackaged him as Jason Styles, then brought in his rival Air Paris and changed Jason's name to Air Styles with hopes to turn the two of them into a hot new tag team. It was not to be since that company went under, but AJ would come to be known best for his time working for TNA, being one of the four people (besides Jeff Jarrett, James Storm, and Abyss) who have worked for TNA continuously since its very first PPV up to the move to the second Impact Zone in the Spike TV era.While Ring of Honor had already done two shows, he was at one point considered one of those responsible for building that promotion up too, being its first Pure Wrestling Champion. Unfortunately for ROH, he, tag team partner Amazing Red and a few others, were barred from continued work with Ring Of Honor by TNA. He would eventually be allowed to make a few limited returns to Ring Of Honor though, given the erratic relations between the two companies up until his TNA contract fell through, allowing him to show up whenever he pleased.Among his many other wrestling accomplishments, he is an IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Champion, Pro Wrestling Guerilla Champion, an NWA Wildside Heavyweight Champion, a Ballpark Brawl Natural Heavyweight Champion, a 3X NWA Wildside Television Championship, 3x NWA World Heavyweight Champion, a 4x NWA World Tag Team Championnote 1x with Jerry Lynn, 1x with Abyss and 2x with Christopher Daniels, a 2x TNA World Heavyweight Champion, a 6x TNA X-Division Champion, a 2x TNA Legends/Global/Television Champion and a 2x TNA World Tag Team Championnote 1x with Tomko and 1x with Kurt Angle, a Junior Heavyweight Champion in the New Korea Pro Wrestling Association and a Cruiserweight Champion in Australian WWA. He currently works for New Japan Pro Wrestling and has added The IWGP Heavyweight Title to his resume.As usual, The Other Wiki has a detailed profile of his career. Also, don't confuse him with AJ Lee.
He was the ace of the whole NWA, particularly Wildside. Styles also happens to be the most decorated wrestler at TNA, having been a four time Triple Crown Champion and Grand Slam Champion. Even more notably, he's the only wrestler to have ever won ALL SIX of the championships ever made eligible for Triple Crown and/or Grand Slam status in TNA history.note The NWA and TNA World Heavyweight Titles are not the same, however both are eligible for the triple crown and grand slam. Ditto for both sets of tag belts.
Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better: The basis of his feud with Jason Cross in NWA Wildside. The two were the same size but Jason was (slightly) younger and managed by Jeff G. Bailey.
In TNA it's a little harder to discern, seeing as AJ has been in the promotion since the very beginning, meaning he's feuded with just about everybody. Nonetheless, Christopher Daniels probably has the strongest claim, simply because of how many times him and AJ have feuded over the years, more or less due to Daniels's jealousy, and the fact that the other half of the time, him and AJ are best friends.
Bash Brothers: The Amazing Red and Alexis Laree in Ring of Honor, whom he allied with to fight the Prophecy after Paul London was injured. Paul didn't approve of these new partners. Also when he teamed with former prophecy leader Christopher Daniels. Then with Christian's "Problem Solver", Tyson Tomko. Tomko and AJ would eventually desert Christian Cage.
Biting-the-Hand Humor: Subtle, since AJ was always bursting with praise for TNA but if one read through or listened carefully enough to his "shoot" interviews, he had some comical criticism too. A recurring one regarded the difficulty of running with ladders, doing so in "the king of the mountain" concept match in particular. Another was Rob Van Dam being given the world title despite having little interest in putting over wrestlers he had not approved of prior to joining TNA. Another was deconstructing the idea that TNA gave him a lighter schedule than the other companies he had worked for. If you want onscreen examples, look no further than Christian's Coalition or Fourtune.
Breakup Breakout: In WCW, he was called Air Styles and half of a tag team called Air Raid with a guy named Air Paris. After WCW closed, neither WWE nor TNA wanted Air Paris, and he's since been confined to small indy feds.
Bring It: AJ screamed it at Low Ki when he made his Ring Of Honor debut, and Low Ki did in fact bring it.
Calling the Old Man Out: Got an absolutely EPIC one by calling Immortal out on everything the fans had been complaining about since the start of the Immortal storyline. You could literally hear the fandom rejoicing as the crowd gave him one of the largest cheers in TNA's history.
Combination Attack: Air Raid had a drop toe hold by Paris to a rolling senton by Styles, a double power bomb and a double hip toss face buster they called Crash N' Burn
Commuting on a Bus: Sort of. TNA explained AJ's lack of points in the 2012 Bound For Glory Series as him wrestling less matches do to working with Pro Wrestling Elite in the UK (or, perhaps against it, the event was called Elite vs Phenomenal) and returning to Australia.
Besides the Ring Of Honor's usual deals that saw AJ crossing over with TNA and CZW, or TNA's for that matter, which saw crossover with New Japan, he also showed up on MTV's Made alongside Taylor Wilde, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky.
One that particularly stood out during his supposed walkout with the TNA title, footage of him defending the belt against Judas Mesias in AAA played with and announced he would be in The Great Muta's Wrestle 1 next. In many ways AJ's retread of the Summer Of Punk may have been inferior but he actually did take the World title to other promotions.
Cue the Flying Pigs: Downplayed. AJ was a thought-to-be lifer for TNA, having been there since the very first show and stuck by the company through thick and thin. While his contract squabbles were known at the time, his Undying Loyalty to the company preceded him and it was thought he would re-sign. His leaving was genuinely shocking, and many fans consider it to be a sign that the company is on its last leg.
As a face, A.J. tends to be in the upper card; as a heel, he tends to be stuck in the mid-card, playing second fiddle to other more important heels. It had gotten really bad in the early goings of Fortune, where he shared second-in-command status with Kazarian under Ric Flair. Yes, Mr. TNA, The Phenomenal One, was at the bottom of the heap and needed help to beat Rob Terry. By the time it started getting better and he and Fortune were stomping EV2.0 every week…Flair soon had them join in on Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan's conspiracy gang. AJ was literally answering to three people before Fortune decided they were done using and dealing with Immortal.
Was reversed later. His run in 2012 as a face was the worst of his career, losing to Christopher Daniels with his own finishing move and playing the personal Butt Monkey to Bad Influence for months. Since his return as what can be best described as a Chaotic Neutraltweener, he has been dominant, beating James Storm cleanly and leaving havoc in his wake mostly via Death Glare.
The Dog Bites Back: Eric Bischoff treated A.J. very badly, insulting him and even making fun of his hometown. A.J. eventually had enough and broke away from Immortal, taking all of Fortune with him in a Crowning Moment Of Awesome, dividing Immortal's numbers and costing Jeff Hardy the World Title.
Dragon-in-Chief: Serves as this in New Japan with Bullet Club. Karl Anderson is the de facto leader of the group (mainly due to Karl's longevity and the fact that AJ's representing the belt in the American indies while only working New Japan's major dates), but AJ's the one holding the IWGP Title making him the one to beat.
Another Ric Flair one, acknowledged in-universe as Ric mentoring A.J. It didn't really work.
So TNA made him one to Sting. Particularly Sting from 1997.
Eye Scream: As a Heel he loves going for the eye, a standard heel trick, except he does it with objects, like pens and forks.
Fingore: Thankfully his hands still work but his wedding ring cannot fit over his fingers anymore due to jamming them.
Finishing Move: The Styles Clash, a move AJ created when he botched a power bomb. Jimmy Rave claimed he was really the one to create the move, leading to them having a match with the loser no longer being allowed to use it in Ring Of Honor (AJ won). Then there is the springboard 450 splash fans dubbed the Superman. Less notable are the Calf Killer (a compression lock that's actually banned in a few real sports) and a corkscrew senton he calls spiral tap.
Fleeting Demographic Rule: AJ's "leaving with the title" storyline with Dixie Carter is clearly a rehash of CM Punk's famous "Summer of Punk II" storyline which catapulted Punk to super stardom. As such, the storyline didn't work for several reasons. For one, this trope is also known as the Seven Year Rule, and Punk's storyline occurred in 2011 — meaning that everyone still remembers it since it has only been two years since then, causing all the fans to (rightly) call it a rip off. Then there's the fact that AJ's notorious reputation as a company man, which only hurts the storyline since he doesn't blur the line between reality and kayfabe as nearly as well as Punk, who is well known for his managerial disputes and his difficulty to work with. Plus, the role of Vince McMahon has been delegated to Dixie Carter, who, to be quite honest, should not be on television. However, what killed the storyline were AJ's own contractual disputes, which, like Punk's at the time, were legitimate. Unlike Punk, AJ didn't re-sign (something that was actually shocking considering his reputation), forcing them to take the title off him in a highly contrived way and kill his career in TNA.
He was briefly hired by La Legion Extranjera in AAA
Has become one in New Japan teaming up with Bullet Club, a Stable of Gaijins who use underhanded methods to win.
Georgia On My Mind: A proud southerner, A.J. possesses a fairly thick accent and is usually portrayed as a heroic character; one of Eric Bischoff's dog kicking moments was him calling A.J. an inbred hillbilly redneck.
The Hero: Formerly to Ring Of Honor as a Face, particularly against Christopher Daniel's Prophecy. Then in TNA against such rogues as "The Kings Of Wrestling"/Planet Jarret, The Main Event Mafia and Immortal.
"I Am" Song: His entrance theme, and it could easily be the Trope Codifier - the original version of the song (And several remixes) is actually called "I Am" & it has actually been remixed to purely focus on the "I am, I am" refrain of the chorus on one occasion, with this now being the only part of the original theme that remains. Heck, even Fortune's theme was a "We Are" song—the team version of this trope.
Having wrestled exclusively for TNA for his physical prime and been promoted as their top face, Styles nevertheless has had a checkered career. This was perhaps inevitable since TNA's paradigm has little use for consistent babyfaces. Over the years, Styles has been swerved by Sting, buried by Hulk Hogan after making unkind real-life remarks about him, reenacted the Montreal Screwjob with Kurt Angle, became a protégé of Ric Flair (a gimmick which died early, as the "New" Nature Boy gimmick didn't stick), and through it all more or less remained a midcard wrestler.
He was obviously planned for bigger things in ROH but TNA pulled him out of the promotion while he was still the Pure Wrestling Champion. By the time AJ Styles came back, the show had gone on without him and he ended up repeatedly jobbing to former protege Jimmy Rave.
To be honest, for AJ it's "I Shoulda Been a Contender," since it's generally agreed upon that he should've been the face of TNA, and that the only reason he isn't is because of booking and TNA's incompetence, something that is no fault of AJ himself.
I Have the High Ground: Mr. Olympia used to be known for chaining together different suplexes and being a superior mat wrestler. He took to jumping on the top rope and turnbuckle more when he found himself competing for attention with much larger wrestlers, such as Abyss in Wildside. Even after he established himself on TNA Impact, Don West would negatively contrast 'little' AJ to the towering Matt Morgan (AJ's shorter but still taller than the average American man) and argue that AJ had lost his 'hunger' when he stopped flying around as much.
In the Hood: He peeks out from under it briefly during his entrance. He even got hooded versions of Ric Flair's robes.
The first two times he won the NWA World Heavyweight title from Jeff Jarrett, both matches saw an assist from Vince Russo, who AJ would embrace in his celebration. The irony is, the first time was a Face-Heel Turn, the second a solid babyface moment (Russo had changed his ways, not long before, before becoming director of authority, and Jarrett brought his guitar into the steel cage—which is what Russo hoped to prevent when he made it a cage match).
It's Personal: In 2014 he expressed his frustration at never getting to be Ring Of Honor's World Heavyweight Champion. However, he was willing to turn down a shot at the title to get at Adam Cole, who had hit him with it from behind (a big no no in ROH code, in case you're wondering. He was IWGP champion anyway so not having the ROH belt didn't hurt too much).
Jobber: On various WWFB shows. WWE would later offer him a developmental contract but it was too little too late.
Large Ham: Though not the largest in the business, when compared to the non-Ric Flair members of Fortune he's pretty over the top, Ric Flair's mentoring had improved his previously lacking promo skills.
"AJ Styles is going to make Tommy Dreamer say "Stop it A.J., stop it, I Quit A.J., I Quit!" In AJ Styles's House."
Let's You and Him Fight: In the Fatal Four Way Ladder Match at Hardcore Justice 2012, AJ let Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle beat the piss out of Christopher Daniels and then came in at the last moment to get up the ladder and win the match.
As a face, A.J. goes to the ring with a pure white outfit surrounded by a shower of sparks with an entrance video that's red with a white background.
He seems to recognize this. He's always had an affinity for blue, and he tends to wear dark blue◊as a heel, and light blue◊ as a face
Lightning Bruiser: A guy as acrobatic as him should not be able to pick up Samoa Joe or Abyss, or be able to casually stand up while caught in a jujigatame. Hell, AJ Styles has snatched Low Ki out of mid air, while Low Ki was in the middle of a phoenix splash!
Made of Iron: He's been dropped on his head a disturbing amount of times during his TNA tenure but still moves around well and seems to have not suffered long term mental damage from it.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: Generally averted, since he's got such a reputation as one of the nicest people in the business today. That, alongside his incredible talent, means most attempts at turning him heel have been lukewarm at best since you just wanna cheer for him.
The Mentor: To Seth Delay in NWA Wildside and Jimmy Rave in Ring Of Honor
Mr. Fanservice: So he may wear his wedding ring around his neck but that doesn't stop him from getting a huge pop for showing off his bare chest and abs.
Oblivious to Love: A non romantic example was with Paul London, who considered AJ to be his best buddy and didn't like him hanging out with other people. In real life he reportedly is like this, not noticing many women actually into him, according to Jeremy Borash.
He may be a smarmy arrogant showboat as a heel but he is loyal to Ric Flair, and his company, and the fellow members of Fortune.
Even as a heel he is portrayed as a consummate family man; he got injured once making sure his kid was alright. This gave the Claire Lynch storyline extra punch since his reputation was so sterling.
His lone-wolf darkhorse character, which came partially as a result of said Claire Lynch, was eventually explained that since the rest of TNA didn't care about all he'd been through, he decided to focus only on winning matches and making money for himself…and his family.
Popularity Power: Regardless of whether he's a Face or a Heel, A.J.'s such an awesome wrestler that he will always get the loudest pop.
Sacrificial Lion: In the Fortune vs. Immortal feud, A.J. had finally regained his chutzpah, turned face and was bringing the fight to Immortal with a vengeance... until Bully Ray superbombed him through a table which paralyzed A.J. Considering A.J. was Fortune's leader, the group was looking rough until a certain individual decided toreturn.
Sharp-Dressed Man: One of the few good things to come of his 2010 heel run; if you're hanging around the Nature Boy, you'd better keep up in the wardrobe department.
Signature Move: The Pele Kick, which became a meme thanks to Don West's overacting. Any other instance of the move being used in the USA and even many back flip kicks that only superficially resemble the one AJ does, tend to be called "Pele". Equally known for his flipping body press over the top rope to the outside. Part of what put TNA on the map were video clips of AJ doing what was previously a rarely seen move almost weekly. Equally impressive but less known is his Fosbury Flop. Some other moves he is known for are a Springboard Forearm, Cliffhanger (Crucifix hold dropped into a DTT), Phenomenon (Spring Board Moonsault into an inverted DDT), Starmaker (High-angle belly-to-back Suplex) reverse frankensteiner, inverted stf, Rack Bomb (Backbreaker rack dropped into a powerbomb) the Stylin' Crab, ShootingStyles Press (top rope to outside), Sweet Styling Music, Styles Suplex Special (German followed by a belly-to-back wheelbarrow facebuster)...
He's won NWA World Tag Team Gold With Jerry Lynn, Abyss, Christopher Daniels and Kurt Angle.
The Future with Jorge Estrada in NWA Wildside.
Air Raid with Air Paris in WCW
Take That: Gave one to Batista when he called A.J. a Spot Monkey and not a real wrestler. A.J. said in return, "I think it's funny that a guy who takes a bump and tears his back tells me that I don't know how to wrestle."
Terrible Trio: Despite being semi regular participants in TNA main events, AJ Styles, Christian Cage and Tyson Tomko were presented as comedy acts more often than not.
TNA held a tournament to determine who would be the NWA World Tag Team Champions in 2002, which AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn won
In 2004 he beat CM Punk in the finals to determine Ring Of Honor's first Pure Wrestling Champion then went on to beat Colt Cabana to when the International Wrestling Cartel Super Indy Showdown then went on to win IWA Mid-south's Ted Petty Invitational, outlasting Bryan Danielson and Samoa Joe in the finals.
Then there was AAA's Torneo de Atomicos where he teamed with Samoa Joe, Low Ki...and Homicide.
In 2009, both AJ Styles and Sting won TNA's No Surrender Main Event Qualifying Tournament (not as a team, mind you)
He won TNA's 2013 Bound For Glory Series, little did we know that would be the beginning of the end of his run there
Undying Loyalty: AJ was one of the few constants in the ever changing TNA. Was, because as of December 2013, he's no longer with the company. His leaving was taken as a sign by many fans that TNA was on death's door.
We Used to Be Friends: In Korea and Australia, Gail Kim was his road buddy and tag team partner. In TNA, she was a thorn in his side that prevented him and Daniels from defeating America's Most Wanted until they had Sirelda remove it. In Ring Of Honor, AJ was on fairly good terms with Homicide, who helped AJ over his student Dan Maff. In TNA, Homicide was part of LAX and had little time for gringos from Georgia.