The WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles had a phenomenal year, and it should go without saying that the man is the clear favorite for 2016 WWE Superstar of the Year. If you talk to wrestling fans, most will say the same. There is hardly any questioning it, due to the greatness we’ve seen from the Phenomenal One this year.
He walked into the WWE last January, which means AJ Styles will be coming up on his one-year anniversary with the WWE soon. What he has done this year has been incredible, and it truly all started back in Japan. At Wrestle Kingdom 10, he had an amazing match with Shinsuke Nakamura, which ended up being his last with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, considered the second best wrestling promotion in the world today by success rate.
From there he went to WWE and appeared in The Royal Rumble where he had a great showing. He would go on to have great matches with Chris Jericho and even Roman Reigns. While some casuals will claim that Roman Reigns deserves the WWE Superstar of the Year award and will cite kayfabe facts like his two WWE World Titles and United States Title victory….we must also use real world material here.
WWE has given Roman Reigns the wins and titles. This means that we cannot equate kayfabe statistics to that of other real world things, such as the entertainment one brings. When it comes to AJ Styles, it is not as if stats are not on his side. He beat John Cena, not just once, or twice, but three times. Obviously, he is the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion as well. Funny enough, if he holds it another few months…it would be a longer reign than the three Roman has right now.
The major issue when it comes to these types of awards is that everyone has an opinion on who should be considered the best of the year. However, let us go over what AJ Styles has accomplished. He managed to truly restart Chris Jericho’s career. Many saw Jericho as a waste of time when he came back this go around, but he managed to do well with AJ and he has been on an incline ever since then.
After WrestleMania 32, AJ Styles and his friends from NJPW’s Bullet Club managed to jump into a great faction war against Roman Reigns and “The Family.” This consisted of Jimmy and Jey Uso, his real-life cousins. While Dean Ambrose has been part of this in the past, it was only the Usos that truly joined him against The Club as there were only three members.
This faction war really helped WWE a lot and made people interested in the product at a time when interest was beginning to fade. Additionally, the singles matches AJ Styles had with Roman Reigns may have been the best matches of Reigns’ entire career. In fact, Reigns benefited greatly from the matches and probably should send a thank you letter to Styles for helping him look like a million bucks.
John Cena, of course, had match of the year candidates with AJ too. However, along came Dean Ambrose who has had a great rivalry with Styles. This seemed to end at WWE TLC when the two had one heck of a TLC match for the WWE World Title. On top of all of this, let’s just be honest, who else could make James Ellsworth look good? AJ Styles has managed to make Ellsworth somewhat credible.
One has to wonder who could have possibly had a better year than AJ Styles. However, who else in WWE history had a better first year in the company than AJ? He was involved in the main event off and on all year long. He was involved in a rivalry with the top guy in the company, second top guy, and then the technical third top guy. All in addition to his WWE World Title win. Each and everything he did landed well and there are few could be perfect in the ring like AJ.
When it comes to complete WWE Superstars, many think of Seth Rollins or maybe Finn Balor. However, AJ Styles has it all. There is nothing lacking with his ability as he could literally do anything. This makes him fun to watch with any competitor, big or small. If we talk best of the year, AJ Styles is the obvious winner. However, the same could be said for the best wrestler in the entire world today. AJ Styles fits the bill each time.
[Featured Image by WWE]