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10 Things You Didn't Know About WWE Superstar AJ Styles

Somebody wasn't too keen on the idea of having AJ enter the 2016 Royal Rumble in the number three position?!

When the words "I am Phenomenal" appeared on the Titantron at the 2016 Royal Rumble, the collective roar from the Orlando crowd sent shockwaves through the industry. 

There stood AJ Styles, dynamic daredevil and world-traveled Superstar, being treated as a conquering hero by the WWE audience. 

The reaction was one befitting an immortal, and that's what Styles, through nearly two decades performing as one of wrestling's most captivating and incredible athletes, had become.

Whether he was TNA's ace in the hole for the better part of 11-and-a-half-years, or shining brightly on the New Japan stage, or receiving a strong push out of the gate in WWE, the last decade-and-a-half of Styles' career has been one full-length highlight reel after another. 

At one time, it may have been unfathomable for a cruiserweight like Styles to reign for one year as WWE Champion, but that's where wrestling is in the current day. 

Let's take a look back at the phenomenal career of AJ Styles... 

10. Phenomenal Gamble

Aj styles wwe champion

Like many of the individuals that we herald as kings and queens of the ring, Styles didn't have it easy in his youth. 

By all accounts, Styles grew up in a poor household with an alcoholic father. After graduating from Johnson High School in Gainesville, GA in 1996, Styles would attend Anderson University in South Carolina on a partial wrestling scholarship.

For a man who grew up in a place where opportunities were few and far between, Styles seemed to have found his lifeline.

That was, until Styles was convinced by a friend to attend a pro wrestling tryout. Styles recalls taking one bump inside the ring, and thinking to himself, "I can do this". 

Wanting to try his hand in the guarantee-free world of professional wrestling, Styles walked away from that partial scholarship, leaving the college life behind. It was quite a gamble, but when looking at where Styles is today, it was a gamble that certainly paid off.

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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.