After over a decade of being the flagship name of the TNA/Impact Wrestling brand, AJ Styles decided to start his WWE career at a time where many others were winding down their WWE tenures. Due to the popularity of his runs in TNA, Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Styles was well known when he made his WWE debut.
Styles’ debut came as a surprise entrant in the 2016 Royal Rumble match, entering at No. 3 to a resounding ovation. At 38 years old, Styles officially began his WWE career lasting nearly a half-hour before being eliminated by Kevin Owens. This impressive showing immediately launched feuds with top talent such as Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns, and Styles became one of the fastest WWE Champions from the date of their debut by defeating Dean Ambrose less than eight months from his first match.
At 41, and with 20 years experience as a wrestler, Styles discussed on the latest episode of WWE 365 whether his career is coming to an end.
“I don’t know when that is. I’m gonna just enjoy where I’m at and see where it takes me. A lot of people, a lot of other performers, have places that they wanna go. I just wanna enjoy the moment, because I don’t know how long that moment is gonna last.”
To further add to the “phenomenal” reign of Styles, he defeated Jinder Mahal on an episode of SmackDown Live in Manchester, England on November 7, 2017 to become the first-ever person to win the WWE Championship outside of North America. Styles maintained the title for 371 consecutive days, which is tied with Randy Savage for the eighth-longest WWE Championship holder of all time.
Styles was recently defeated by Daniel Bryan on an episode of SmackDown Live to put a close on his 371-day reign. However, in just a little under three years, Styles has achieved what others took many years, even decades, to accomplish.