AJ Styles debuted at Royal Rumble and instantly became one of the most over talents in the WWE. He fared very well as a babyface, getting some of the best reactions of the whole roster and was selling a lot of merchandise too. It was quite a surprise that they decided to turn him heel in his feud with John Cena. However, if there is one thing that it indicates, it is that WWE have an immense amount of trust in The Phenomenal One.
Styles was then drafted to Smackdown Live, being their second pick and the fourth overall draft pick. That is a basic indicator that he is one of the top 5 acts in the eyes of WWE officials. That was cemented when he defeated John Cena clean at Summerslam. After that, he earned a WWE World Championship match against Dean Ambrose at Backlash. Throughout the build-up, he proclaimed himself to be the “New Face That Runs The Place”. And indeed, in a sense, he is, because he is clearly the star of Smackdown Live.
At Backlash, AJ Styles defeated Dean Ambrose to become the new WWE World Champion. However, his win was not clean by any means. When the referee was gathering himself together, AJ Styles gave Dean Ambrose a low blow and then hit him with the Styles Clash to be crowned champion. While this was the expected outcome by many, it was definitely one that was far more favoured than Ambrose retaining, as many in the WWE Universe felt that Ambrose’s title run had fallen flat, and thus were excited by the prospect of change.
In a backstage interview after his World Championship victory, Styles was asked if he was worried that his legacy would be tarnished due to the way he won his first World Championship at WWE. Styles responded with a resounding no, and went on to say:
"One way or another, I am the champion, I am in the history books as WWE World Heavyweight Champion"
There is much truth to this statement. AJ Styles is a heel, so having his first championship victory be a dirty one is nothing wrong or nothing new either. Either way, fans are definitely happy to see Styles be crowned as the top star of Smackdown Live, where he can carry the brand moving forward. If anyone can carry a show, it’s AJ.