AJ Styles is one of the top wrestlers on the current WWE roster. The former WWE Champion is a seasoned veteran who has wrestled around the world and earned a great reputation for himself. Over the course of years, Styles has fought a plethora of wrestlers, and his amazing chemistry with some of them has led to rivalries that will be remembered for the ages.
Here are some of the most rivalries of AJ Styles from the indies:
#1 Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle joined Total Nonstop Action (TNA) in 2006. While their initial collisions came as random matches, the two men had multiple feuds over their tenure in the promotion.
The first storyline involving these two saw Styles joining Team Angle Alliance over Team Christian Coalition. The storyline involved Kurt's daughter Karen, who Kurt accused of having an affair with Styles. The rivalry concluded with Styles winning and retaining Angle's Gold Medal.
The two men would then go their separate ways before Angle (who was now a part of Main Event Mafia) kayfabe injured Styles in a tables match. Styles would eventually return, winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Angle in a Fatal fiveway match.
These would go on to face each other multiple times in the following year, reversing roles and even teaming up to win the TNA World Tag Team Championships.
#2 Christopher Daniels - AJ Styles' best friend and worst enemy
Christopher Daniels is perhaps AJ Styles’ biggest rival ever. They’re best friends in real life and have both fought beside each other against each other. AJ Styles first faced Christopher Daniels in an All Pro Wrestling ring during the King of the Indies tournament in October 2001, where Styles lost to The Fallen Angel, Christopher Daniels in the quarter-finals.
Since then they have faced each other several times in promotions like Ring of Honour in June, 2002 in a ROH Title second round match where once again Daniels got the better of Styles, Maxim Pro Wrestling, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, Irish Whip Wrestling, and others.
This rivalry has been one of the greatest rivalries ever, especially in the independent arena. AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels have produced some spectacular matches in the past, and it won’t be long before fans start clamoring for him to fight in a WWE ring against AJ Styles. The real-life friends even teamed up in TNA, winning PWI’s award for Tag Team of The Year in 2006.
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#3 Jimmy Rave
The feud between AJ Styles and Jimmy Rave in Ring of Honour is one of the most popular ones in the independent circuits. The two have faced each other many times while they were in Ring of Honour. Jimmy Rave started out as AJ Styles protege was soon fired as he failed to win matches. However, he managed to return later and came to be known as “The Crown Jewel of the Embassy.”
He first match against Rave was in a Second Anniversary Show tournament match to become the Pure Wrestling Champion. He went on to win the tournament but had to vacate the title and leave ROH as TNA had decided to cancel its contract with ROH due to a very disturbing controversy that the owner of ROH had got involved in.
Jimmy Rave was notorious for passing off others’ finishers as his own, claiming that he’d come up with those finishers and he started using the Rave Clash, which was his version of the Styles Clash. He obviously claimed that finisher was his own invention. Styles returned for one night only to face him, but lost after being sprayed in the face with an air-freshener Rave.
Styles returned a few months later and the rivalry continued for quite some time as Styles joined Generation Next, a faction that was feuding with The Embassy, a faction that Jimmy Rave was a part of.
#4 CM Punk
Today, CM Punk is one of the most recognizable wrestlers that worked their way up the indies. It’s not surprising that two have crossed paths and faced each other in the independent circuits. The two faced each other for the very first time in an International Wrestling Cartel Triple Threat match, the third competitor being none other than AJ Styles’ biggest kayfabe nemesis, Christopher Daniels.
They then faced each other twice in Ring of Honor and then once in International Wrestling Association. Check out one of their ROH matches below!
#5 Kazuchika Okada
Kazuchika Okada was one of AJ Styles’ biggest rivals in New Japan Pro Wrestling. After the departure of Prince Devitt (now known as Finn Balor), the leader of Bullet Club, AJ Styles took over the heel faction and they started picking on Kazuchika Okada. Kazuchika Okada is very popular amongst followers of NJPW for his amazing in ring abilities and charisma.
The Rainmaker has faced The Phenomenal One several times in NJPW and twice in Ring of Honor, producing some memorable matches. Kazuchika Okada will always be one of AJ Styles’ biggest rivals ever.
#6 Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe is one of the most highly rated wrestlers today. The Samoan Submission machine and The Phenomenal One have wrestled each other quite a few times. Their first meeting dates back to September 2003 when the two took part in a Four Corner Survival match to determine the Number One Contender for the Ring of Honor world title.
After facing each other in promotions like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Independent Wrestling Association, they made their way to Total Non-Stop Action, and thereafter continued to face each in indie promotions until November 2007, when they faced each other in a Northeast Wrestling ring.
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