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Allen Neal Jones was born in June of 1977 in Jacksonville, North Carolina. More specifically,
he was born on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, as his father was serving as a Marine. At
just a year old, Jones family moved to Gainesville, Georgia, which is where he grew up.
Jones grew up with his brothers, his mother, and his alcoholic father. His father would
“come home looking for a fight” after a night of drinking and “took it out on
his kids and sometimes his wife”. However, Jones is adamant in saying that despite his
faults, he knew his father loved him. Unlike most wrestling fans growing up, Jones
didn’t watch WWE or WCW much as it wasn’t really available to him. Growing up, Jones’
family was quite poor and could barely afford basic TV. So instead, Jones grew up watching
Georgia Championship Wrestling, though even that was limited due to poor TV reception.
Admittedly, he wasn’t really a huge fan of wrestling as a kid anyway.
Living in poverty, the family of 6 was crammed into a small trailer, where he and his brothers
were stuffed into one room together. These were not easy conditions to live in.
As you may know, Allen Jones is a very religious man. He stated that he would go to church
every Sunday as a child with his family, but religion was never forced upon him by anybody,
and that he decided for himself that the Christian faith was “where he belonged”. He’s
been a devout Christian since the early 90’s. Allen has been an athlete ever since he was
a kid. He played football, basketball, and baseball as he simply loved sports. He also
has a background in amateur wrestling, but didn’t enjoy it as much given that the conditioning
was so intense. Jones attended Johnson High School in Gainesville
and graduated in 1996. From there he went on to Anderson College in South Carolina on
a partial wrestling scholarship to study Physical Education. However just as spring break rolled
around his first year, Jones decided to call it quits and move back home. He didn’t have
a real backup plan, but decided to just get a regular job instead of staying at school.
One day Allen’s friends decided to go to a wrestling school and convinced him to tag
along. When he made it there, Jones decided that he was already there and may as well
give it a shot. As soon as he got in the ring, Jones instantly knew this was something he
would be good at. Jones was officially trained by Rick Michaels
and debuted in 1998, just two years after graduating High School, in the Georgia-based
National Championship Wrestling. Here he would go under the name Mr. Olympia. He would lose
in his very first match to Michael Brooks, but would begin to prosper soon after. By
August of 1999, Mr. Olympia was the promotion’s Television Champion.
Just like most of the wrestling origins videos, I’m not going to cover every single independent
promotion Jones wrestled in, just the larger ones. But just for fun, I’ll list off a
bunch of the smaller ones he competed in. Great Canadian Wrestling, All Pro Wrestling,
United Wrestling Federation, One Pro Wrestling, Game Changer Wrestling, Valhalla Pro Wrestling,
and International Wrestling Cartel. And that is only scratching the surface.
Speaking of the independent circuit, in 2001, now going under A.J. Styles, he would compete
in All Pro Wrestling’s King of the Indies tournament, but was eliminated in the quarter
finals by Christopher Daniels. Just a few months later in X Wrestling Federation,
Styles would lose in a battle royal for the XWF Cruiserweight title against the likes
of Christopher Daniels, Juventud Guerrera, Kid Krash, and Psicosis.
Moving forward a few more months, Styles would debut in Australia’s World Wrestling All-Stars
in early 2002. Styles would compete in some big matches here, but failed to capture the
Cruiserweight Championship. However, that changed when Styles defeated Super Nova and
Jerry Lynn to win a tournament for the title. Shortly after the win though, Styles would
vacate the belt. Styles would also compete in IWA Mid-South
later that year, along with Frontier Wrestling Alliance in the UK.
Going back to 1999 for a second, the A.J. Styles name was born after two wrestling promotions,
NCW and NWA Georgia, merged to form NWA Wildside, the developmental territory of WCW. Here Styles
would capture his second Television Championship in January of 2000, only to lose it and regain
it one more time in the span of a year. In early 2001, WCW scouted both A.J. Styles
and Air Paris from NWA Wildside, placing them in a tag team called Air Raid. The team would
have a short stint in WCW, appearing on WCW Nitro, but nothing really came from it as
just 5 months into Styles’ main roster career, the promotion went under.
Following WCW’s demise, Styles went back to NWA Wildside where he would quickly become
NWA Georgia Champion after defeating Rick Michaels. After 2002 however, Styles only
appeared in Wildside for the odd appearance, as at this point he was signed to the newly
founded TNA. He would wrestle against some big names in Wildside, but his main focus
was elsewhere. Speaking of 2002, it was a big year for Styles’
career. Before the TNA offer was even on the table, Styles made two appearances for WWE.
The first was in January of 2002 on an episode of Metal, where he lost to The Hurricane.
The second was a dark match before SmackDown, which he lost as well.
However, in April of 2002 WWE would offer Styles a developmental deal that required
him to relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio to wrestle in the Heartland Wrestling Association. However,
Styles declined the offer on the ground that relocation was not an option, as his wife
was trying to pursue college and this would interfere.
Bear with me, I will get to his TNA career soon, but first let’s cover Ring of Honor.
In 2002, Styles made his debut in ROH and quickly became a main eventer. Here he would
be the first to hold the “Number One Contender’s Trophy” which was considered a secondary
championship. After a few failed attempts at the ROH Championship, Styles decided to
pursue the Tag Team titles, which he won with Amazing Red. The two would hold the belts
for a while, defeating the Briscoe Brothers on three occasions, but lost to Christopher
Daniels and Xavier, a team known as The Prophecy. Styles would win the tag titles back, however
with a new partner named Homicide. Styles would later jump back into singles
competition and took fellow Georgia wrestler Jimmy Rave under his wing. Styles would defeat
Bryan Danielson to become number one contender for the title, but lost to the champion Samoa
Joe. However, Styles would become the first ROH Pure Wrestling Champion after defeating
CM Punk in the finals of a tournament. Styles would also defeat Punk in the rematch for
the belt, but due to controversy over in TNA where he was under contract, he was forced
to leave ROH and vacate the title. Styles would return to ROH in 2005 and 2006
where he would have a feud with former protégé Rave which featured the memorable moment of
Styles being suffocated with a plastic bag. Styles would go on to defeat the likes of
Roderick Strong, Austin Aries, and Abyss, but would lose to Bryan Danielson for the
ROH World Championship. Now, back to TNA, where A.J. signed a non-exclusive
contract back in May of 2002 just as TNA was starting up. In fact, Styles may have been
the first wrestler ever signed to the promotion. Here he was referred to as “The Phenomenal”
A.J. Styles. Styles would spend over a decade in TNA, where he would become the face of
the company. Styles started off by becoming the inaugural
TNA X Division Champion after defeating Jerry Lynn, Low Ki, and Psicosis. He would also
win a second title, the NWA World Tag Team title, with Lynn soon after. Not too long
after that though, the tag team would fall apart and Styles and Lynn would feud to no
avail. Styles would also lose his X Division title to Low Ki, but would regain it in late
2002. However, Styles would once again lose it, but this time to Lynn.
In 2003, Styles began to focus on the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and finally
won it in June of that year to become the first TNA Triple Crown winner. He would hold
this title for a few months, defeating numerous challengers, until he lost it to Jeff Jarrett
who insisted Styles abandon the Heavyweight title and return to the X Division. Style’s
would refuse, but after winning and dropping the title one more time, he decided head back.
In 2004, Styles would quickly become X Division champion and had a memorable feud with Petey
Williams. Styles would lose and regain the title a few times throughout 2005, with some
memorable matches along the way. By far the best match he had during this run was a three
way between himself, Samoa Joe, and Christopher Daniels which was given a prestigious 5-star
rating by Dave Meltzer. It was also runner up for match of the year.
In late 2005 and most of 2006, Styles would team up with Daniels. The two would win the
NWA World Tag Team Championships after two failed attempts, but would eventually lose
them in a Border Brawl match to Homicide and Hernandez, the Latin American Xchange.
In November, A.J. Styles would defeat Chris Sabin for his sixth X Division title after
dropping the tag team belts to LAX. In the following months, Styles would begin a feud
with Rhino and turned heel in the process. From 2006 to 2008, Styles would be involved
in the Christian’s Coalition storyline, which featured Christian Cage and his team
facing off against Kurt Angle and his, as well as the TNA Front line story in 2008 and
2009 where Styles allegedly got married to Karen Angle, prompting a feud with Kurt.
In 2008, Styles would also wrestle a few matches in New Japan as part of a partnership between
the two companies. He would make four appearances here, getting his first real taste of the
Japanese wrestling scene. From mid 2009 to 2011, Styles once again pursued
the TNA World Heavyweight championship. He would win the title in a five-way match from
Kurt Angle. Styles would also face Sting just a month later in a match that became a favourite
amongst TNA fans. Styles would prosper and would retain the belt despite numerous elite
level challengers including Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, and his former tag partner Tomko. During
this reign, Styles would become the longest reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion in
history, surpassing Sting. His reign finally ended when he dropped the title to RVD after
211 days as champion. Styles would continue to work in TNA through
2013, working some notable matches in that time. Those include Styles vs Christopher
Daniels in 2012, Styles and Angle vs Daniels and Kazarian in 2013, and Styles vs Austin
Aries in 2013 as well. However late in that year, contract negotiations between Styles
and TNA broke down and it was reported that he would become a free agent after 12 years
with the company. Styles was extremely frustrated with the company,
making critical remarks about the TNA product in a podcast interview with Brady Hicks after
leaving. At this point, Styles began taking bookings
to work in various independent promotions such as CZW, PWG, and IWA Mid-South. He also
made his return to ROH in early 2014, where he defeated Roderick Strong in his first match
back. He would also go on to defeat Jay Lethal and Chris Hero as well.
Also in 2014 after leaving TNA, Styles decided to sign a contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling,
where he would be revealed as the newest member of the infamous Bullet Club. Now, Styles was
still working on the American circuit full-time, so he was only in New Japan for the bigger
events. Despite that, Styles quickly became IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the sixth non-Japanese
champion in history and the first American since Brock Lesnar in 2005.
Styles would defend the title successfully twice before dropping the belt to Hiroshi
Tanahashi as the Bullet Club was prevented from interfering. However, in 2015, Styles
would once again become champion and would reign for five months. Skipping forward a
bit, Styles would challenge Shinsuke Nakamura for his IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
This was an excellent match that nearly attained 5 stars, though Styles lost. However, the
very next day, Styles gave his notice to New Japan as he was signing with WWE. This resulted
in Styles being kicked out of the Bullet Club the next night during his final appearance
for the promotion. On January 20th, 2016, WWE confirmed that
A.J. Styles had signed a deal with the company after weeks of speculation and rumours. Apparently,
Styles was in talks to return to TNA first, but WWE offered him a deal that he couldn’t
refuse, which also brought over his friends Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Styles would
make his debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble, lasting 28 minutes only to be eliminated by Kevin
Owens. From there Styles would feud with Chris Jericho
where he would come out on top. However soon after, the two would form the tag-team Y2AJ.
The pair would be unable to capture the WWE Tag Team belts, which led to Jericho turning
on Styles. This culminated with a match at WrestleMania 32, which Jericho won.
Following that, Styles would reunite with Bullet Club members Karl Anderson and Luke
Gallows to form “The Club”, which has essentially turned Styles heel. He would face
Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight title at Extreme Rules, but was unsuccessful.
Most recently, Styles began to feud with the returning John Cena which culminated in a
match at Money in the Bank. Here Styles would pick up the win through the help of The Club,
despite signing a contract stating The Club could not get involved in the match.
And that was Wrestling Origins: A.J. Styles. This was a long video but as a lot of you
said on the last one, you like the videos to be longer rather than short. Anyways, if
you enjoyed the video you should definitely leave a like and subscribe. If I skipped over
anything you think was significant, then be sure to let me know in the comments. As always,
thanks for watching!
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Wrestling Origins: A.J. Styles

399 Folder Collection
105062115 曾鼎睿 published on December 9, 2016
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