Childhood & Early Life
A.J. Styles was born Allen Neal Jones on June 2 1977, in North Carolina, USA. Born in poverty to an alcoholic father, Styles describes his childhood as ‘worse than hell’ and admits that initially he hated his father for many years due to his abusive behaviour.
Styles entered a wrestling school while in school, just out of fun, because his friends were trying their hands at that. He didn’t even like it initially but slowly, wrestling grew onto him and he started taking it more seriously.
Styles graduated from Johnson High School in Georgia, and attended a college in South Carolina, on a scholarship he received due to his wrestling prowess. At the initial stage of his career, while looking to sustain himself as a wrestler, Styles did odd jobs, such as driving and supplying water to houses, to make the ends meet.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
At the 1998 National Championship wrestling in Georgia, Styles got his first big break, where he was trained by a legend Rick Michaels but lost his very first single match. However, in 1999, he emerged as the winner of Promotional Tour’s Television championship. Styles then went on to participate in several independent wrestling tournaments in the USA and outside.
In February 2002, Styles made his debut in Australian promotion of WWA and got his very first title in form of WWA International Cruiserweight Championship after defeating Jerry Lynn. Styles spent some time with East Coast Wrestling Association, Frontier Wrestling Alliance, World Championship Wrestling, and also happened to made two brief appearances in World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
Styles had a stint with TNA wrestling in mid 2002 and he ended up winning the inaugural TNA X Division Championship and soon got his hands on the Tag Team Championship as well. A few months later, he lost the X Division Championship to Low Ki and made several attempts to win it back, but failed. He somehow regained the title in October, only to lose it again weeks later.
Upon his debut in Ring of Honor, Styles quickly became the wrestler to play in the main events of the show and lost his very first title shot for the ROH World Championship, eventually becoming the number one contender for the same later. In 2003, he eyed the ROH Tag Team Championship and partnered with Amazing Red for the same and ended up taking the title from The Prophecies.
Styles became the ROH Pure Wrestling Champion after defeating a number of wrestlers in a one night event including CM Punk. However, the title became vacant once his contract with ROH terminated in 2004. Upon his return to ROH in 2005, he made several attempts at scoring the ROH World Championship title, but was unsuccessful.
A the 2007 TNA, Styles won the TNA World Tag Team Championship along with Tomko, which they lost in 2008 and Styles, along with Samoa Joe created TNA Front Line, a team of youngsters and took on The Main Event Mafia, having big names such as Booker T and Kurt Angle. His feud with the then World Champion, Sting, started and styles ended up losing several matches for the title shot. But somehow, he managed to defeat Booker T to secure Legends Championship.
In 2009, Styles won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a five way grand match against the likes of Matt Morgan, Sting, Kurt Angle and Hernandez. He defended his title several times, eventually becoming a storyline villain, due to his cheats where he took the help of Ric Flair in the matches. However, Rob Van Dam ended Style’s Reign in 2010. Several attempts were made by Styles to regain the title, but in vain.
In July 2010, Styles defeated Terry to get his hands on Global Championship, which he ended up losing shortly after. In 2012, he teamed up with Kurt Angle in a tag team and defeated Daniels and Kazarian to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship, which they lost to the same team a few weeks later and ended up unsuccessfully challenging the tag team champions a few times.
Styles made a return to Ring of Honor in 2014 and defeated Roderick Strong in his very first match upon his return and quickly became the first contender for the ROH World Heavyweight Championship, but in the match he was defeated by champion Jay Lethal.
It was confirmed by WWE officials in January 2016 that styles was joining WWE and in the title shot at a Royal Rumble Match, he was eliminated in under 30 minutes, losing the title and started a long lasting feud with Chris Jericho, who was bitter at Styles for losing a tag team match, which they fought together.
It didn’t take Styles enough time to become the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Title and in July 19, Styles was drafted to Smackdown. On September 2016, Styles defeated Ambrose to become the WWE World Champion and successfully defeated the title against John Cena and Ambrose in a three way match.
However, he lost the Championship to John Cena at the Royal Rumble and eyed WWE Championship at the beginning of 2017. In April, Styles became the first contender for the United States Championship and lost the title shot against Kevin Owens.
Styles has also been associated with New Japan Pro wrestling and has been successful in winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. He was also the leader of the Bullet Club. Among his other independent circuit wins are PWG World Championship along with RPW British Heavyweight Championship.
A.J. Styles married his high school girlfriend, Wendy, in 2000, who works as a school teacher. He is the father to three sons - Ajay Covell Jones, Avery Jones and Albey Jones and a daughter, Anney Jones. Styles is too fond of his children and has a huge tattoo marking the date of births of all his children.
Styles once admitted in an interview that in his childhood, they were so poor that they couldn’t afford a television and Styles used to watch wrestling matches at his friend’s houses.