Not many people expected AJ Styles to do as well as he has since joining WWE in January 2016.
Prior to joining WWE six years ago, Styles had worked on the independent scene, as well as for the likes of TNA (now IMPACT Wrestling) and NJPW.
Styles stands at under 6ft tall and weighs just over 200lbs, so many fans thought that he’d be treated as nothing more than a mid-carder after joining WWE.
However, that isn’t how things turned out, as less than a year after joining WWE, Styles was SmackDown’s top star as the WWE Champion.
It did take some time for Styles to get going in WWE, and now it’s been revealed that Vince McMahon had “serious arguments” with some of his colleagues over the 45-year-old.
Ex-WWE star Road Dogg has claimed that he’d have heated discussions with his former boss over how AJ should be booked in WWE.
Road Dogg claimed that Vince didn’t know who AJ was or what he could do, so it took some convincing for Vince to book him well (quote via WrestleTalk).
He didn’t know who AJ was and he didn’t know what he was capable of, and I did. Me pitching him in that way just made him dig in deeper, so we had some serious arguments over AJ Styles.
Things worked out for AJ Styles in the end though, as he clearly won over Vince McMahon and is now one of WWE’s top stars.
AJ is a two-time WWE Champion, one-time Intercontinental Champion, three-time United States Champion and one-time Tag Team Champion, so he was clearly valued by the ex-WWE CEO.
In 2020, Styles even had the honour of having The Undertaker’s final match at WrestleMania 36, which main evented WWE’s biggest show of the year, clearly proving that he’d won over McMahon.
Perhaps without the assistance of backing of people behind the scenes in WWE like Road Dogg, Vince wouldn’t have given AJ the chances that he did, allowing him to show just how good he really is.
AJ will be in action tonight on Monday Night Raw when he goes one-on-one with Bobby Lashley in a United States Championship dream match.
You can watch tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw live in the US on the USA Network and in the UK on BT Sport.