AJ Styles, the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion, is one of the most popular professional wrestlers of the last 15 years. For almost the entirety of its existence, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling was considered to be the house that AJ Styles built.
He was one of the very few wrestlers who appeared on the very first programming of Total Nonstop Action and stuck with them for the next decade, establishing himself as the face of TNA.
Styles is also one of the most decorated wrestlers in the world having won various championships in multiple promotions that he wrestled in over the years.
After the purchase of WCW and ECW by the WWE in 2001, professional wrestling changed for the worse from the talent’s perspective as there were two lesser options for the performers to make a living and ply their trade. In other words, if WWE didn’t you want you then your chances of making it big were very slim.
AJ Styles, however, was one of the few who rubbished that notion and managed to succeed and make a name for himself in the industry despite never working for the WWE as an up-and-coming wrestler.
TNA’s rise as an alternative to the WWE was concurrent with AJ Styles progressing as the top homegrown talent of the promotion as he was considered one of the greatest professional wrestlers of his generation
Today, AJ Styles also stands as one of the most decorated professional wrestlers of all time amassing numerous championships in his tenure with various promotions he has performed for in his 18-year long career and has an estimated net worth of $5 Million US Dollars.
AJ Styles net worth – $5 Million
He is the only superstar to have held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
AJ Styles was born in North Carolina as Allen Neal Jones.He had an impoverished childhood growing up with an abusive and alcoholic father. Styles has stated that growing up he wasn’t a fan of wrestling as he could not afford cable since the family was barely able to make ends meet.
As a child, Styles dreamt of being a pro football player, basketball or a baseball player. it wasn’t until his early college years that he decided to try his hand in professional wrestling. He subsequently decided to leave college to pursue a career inside the squared circle.
He resides in Gainesville, Georgia Jones with his wife and four children.
After wrestling for several lesser known independent promotions, Styles got a contract from WCW, which was on its last legs, as Air Styles. After his WCW stint, he made a couple of appearances for the then World Wrestling Federation on WWF Metal.
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He later declined an offer from the WWF to join its developmental territory, Heartland Wrestling Association. He also had a successful first stint in Ring of Honor winning the ROH Pure Championship.
However, Styles greatest run till date happened in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. He was the face of that franchise for more than a decade. Styles burst on the scene as an X-Division competitor.
X-Division was one of the unique concepts presented by TNA where they highlighted the athleticism and aerial prowess of wrestlers and Styles became the standard-bearer for that division having countless great matches with various talented wrestlers such as Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Low Ki and many others.
Styles, along with Daniels and Joe, was also the part of the perhaps the greatest match in TNA history at Unbreakable 2005. Styles also gained the moniker of the ‘Phenomenal One’ during his stint with the promotion.
Styles became one of the most accomplished TNA competitors, winning the NWA World Championship, TNA World Heavyweight Championship, the X Division Championship, TNA World Tag Team Championship and the TNA Legends Championship during his tenure.
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AJ Styles’ initial earned to the tune of $200K-250K during his initial years in TNA along with bonus on merchandise. Later, his final contract was worth something around $350K-$390K downside with a percentage earned on merchandise sales
Later, the contract situation between TNA and Styles got worse. Styles felt disrespected as TNA only offered a rumoured $60K guaranteed which was just 1/5th of what he earned in his previous contract and he thus decided to become a free agent, bringing an end to a remarkable twelve-year run as inarguably the greatest wrestler TNA ever produced.
Styles later had another run with ROH. However, his greatest non-TNA run happened when he signed with New Japan Pro Wrestling and replaced Finn Balor as the leader of the popular heel faction ‘The Bullet Club’.
Styles enjoyed a fruitful two-year run with the Japanese promotion where he captured the IWGP Heavyweight Championship twice, becoming the first American since Brock Lesnar to hold the IWGP Championship. His stock and brand name were at an all-time high.
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Styles also did well for himself financially as he better off in Japan as compared to TNA. Since Styles earned around $350K in TNA counting the downside guarantee, it’s safe to assume that he earned substantially more as part of NJPW where he was covered for travel expenses and hotel accommodations as well.
Rumours began late 2015 and early 2016 that WWE has contacted AJ Styles for a potential contract. Styles gave notice to NJPW that he, indeed, was signing with the WWE. The wait was over and AJ Styles made his long awaited WWE debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble in the Royal Rumble entering in at #3.
He later feuded with Chris Jericho competing in his first-ever Wrestlemania at Wrestlemania 32. He also had notable feuds with John Cena and Roman Reigns. His greatest moment as a WWE superstar occurred at BackLash 2016 where he defeated Dean Ambrose to win his first gold in the WWE- the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
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AJ Styles reportedly earns around $500,000 yearly with the WWE and also receives a chunk from merchandising as he was one of the hottest merch-sellers after his debut.
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