AJ Styles has become one of the biggest superstars in the WWE since making his re-debut with the company at the Royal Rumble in January 2016.
He is currently the WWE Champion in his second reign and he has been the WWE Champion for over 420 days during his time with the company which is pretty incredible.
It wasn't always set out to be this way though for The Phenomenal One, as he revealed in a recent interview with Joshua Caudill of Dirtfork while promoting WWE 2K19 and SummerSlam that he thought he would be a mid-carder at best for WWE.
He said: "From my understanding, I was looked at as a mid-card at best in the WWE. That was the plan and I was okay with that because it was still a great job, a great payday and a great way to take care of my family.
"I didn’t necessarily think that’s where I was going to be but there was that time when I made my debut and fans knew who I was in Orlando. They made some noise and it was pretty great. Vince [McMahon] assumed it was a fluke. He didn’t think too much of A.J. Styles."
Styles said a turning point occurred in his WWE career when he spoke to Vince McMahon after a match and told him that he needs to step up his game as he had several other guys that can do what he was doing in terms of production back them.
He said: "I don’t even think I was supposed to be on Raw that next Monday. But the turning point where Vince really saw something in me was when I had a regular match, a babyface match, went out and did my thing.
"I came back to gorilla and Vince says, ‘Come here for a second. I’ve got other guys who can do exactly what you just did out there. You didn’t do anything special. I need a pit bull. I need a guy who just attacks. I need a guy who gets after it.’
"I said, ‘Well, I know that guy. I know exactly who that guy is’ and there was the opportunity to be on Miz TV and I handled it just like I was ready to eat this guy’s lunch and basically, I think the way that turned out was the turning point for Vince.
"The next thing you know, after WrestleMania, I’m beating Chris Jericho and I’m the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship against Roman Reigns where we had a couple of fantastic matches.
"That was the turning point. That’s when things changed and that’s how I became the A.J. Styles that you know now."
The Phenomenal One certainly isn't looking back now, as he is producing some of his best wrestling in the ring, and we may have Vince to thank for that for giving him the motivation Styles needed to succeed in WWE.
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