The Royal Rumble is one of the most anticipated pay-per-view events of the year. Highlighted by the Royal Rumble Match. Which will determine who will Main Event WrestleMania. But this year The Royal Rumble has a new importance. This Royal Rumble marks the One year anniversary of AJ Styles much anticipated WWE debut.
On January 24th 2016 the Royal Rumble match truly was “One Versus All”. Roman Reigns was forced by the Authority to defend his WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble Match. Entering at #1, Reigns would have to go through 29 other Superstars in order to keep his title. He knew what to expect going into the match, for he had won the year before and had been in the final two the year before that. But, Reigns could never have expected who would be entering #3 in the match. The Phenomenal one… AJ Styles.
AJ wouldn’t go on to win the Royal Rumble match, but the year that followed was truly “Phenomenal”. After only being in the WWE for 2 months AJ was granted a singles match against Chris Jericho at WrestleMania. Few Superstars could say that. In the months that followed his former Bullet Club members Anderson and Gallows would join him on the WWE Main Roster. Here Styles underwent a needed Heel turn and entered into a feud wrestling fans have wanted to see for over a decade. AJ Styles vs John Cena. The rivalry boiled up over several months and offically ended with AJ securing a clean win over Cena at Summerslam.
In July WWE had another brand split in the form of a draft. The first of its kind since 2011. After this split both Raw and Smackdown Live would have completely different Rosters. AJ was drafted by Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan to Smackdown Live. Just in time for the first Smackdown Exclusive pay-per-view… Backlash on September 11th. Here AJ would challenge Dean Ambrose for the WWE Championship. This would be AJ’s first major run at the title. And his first successful run. AJ would go on to win that Championship with a low Blow to Ambrose into the Styles Clash.
AJ has held the WWE Championship since Backlash. Mostly feuding with Dean Ambrose, but the likes of Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin have also challenged for the title. Unsuccessfully of course. And that brings us to today. The 2017 Royal Rumble is looming in the distance. There AJ Styles will defend his WWE Championship against his old foe, John Cena. The pair is expected to feud until or even after WrestleMania.
Few Superstars compare to AJ Styles. Prior to his debut he was known as one of the greatest wrestlers not in the WWE. His in-ring ability and charisma make him a standout on Smackdown Live. He has had one of the greatest first year’s in WWE history. He is expected to be nothing short of Phenomenal for the rest of his WWE career.
With just over a week until the one year anniversary of AJ Styles WWE debut I ask this… Has he had one of the best years in WWE History? Let us know in the comments!!