WWE has long been considered the place where the best professional wrestlers are. However, there have been numerous times in wrestling history where that hasn't necessarily been the case.
For a good chunk of the 1990s, All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) was considered to have the best in-ring performers. Ring of Honor (ROH) and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) could make an argument for the case as well.
WWE might be the most popular, but not many of the current top Superstars are considered among the world's best wrestlers from an in-ring perspective.
Here are five current Superstars who were called the world's best wrestler at some point.
#5. AJ Styles - Labeled as "the best in-ring performer of this generation" by WWE
Not every Superstar gets labeled as the best in-ring performer by WWE. For years before the PG era, Shawn Michaels constantly set the standard, deservingly getting called the best in-ring performer of his generation.
It wasn't just his WrestleMania performances that consistently mesmerized fans. Even in his return run from 2002 to 2010, Shawn Michaels delivered in several unforgettable matches.
AJ Styles didn't join WWE at such a young age. While Shawn Michaels was almost 31 years old when he won his first WWE Championship at WrestleMania 12, AJ Styles won it at the age of 39. However, it only took Styles a little over seven months from his WWE debut to become a World Champion.
One of the first Superstars in WWE to benefit from the 2016 Brand Split, AJ Styles would go on to become the face of SmackDown from September 2016 until April 2019 - when he was drafted to RAW.
It didn't take long for WWE to see AJ Styles' true in-ring ability. While he was already considered one of the world's best wrestlers during his TNA/IMPACT Wrestling tenure, it was his two-year stint with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) that cemented him as a must-see international superstar.
The timing couldn't have been better, and AJ Styles continued to prove his in-ring prowess despite worries that WWE would try to "tone down" his style. It only took him over two months before he had his first pay-per-view main event, where he challenged Roman Reigns for the WWE Title (unsuccessfully on two occasions).
AJ Styles has been declared as "The best in-ring performer of this generation" several times by WWE. And if it's something repeated so often, then there's a chance that Vince McMahon feels that way too.