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WRESTLING COLUMNS

A Comparison Between Two Showstoppers
August 17, 2005 by Anthony Ferguson


In this post I would like to talk about the up and coming "showstopper" of professional wrestling. I think that the 1 unparticular wrestler doesn't get enough praise for what he can do. The person I am talking about is the "Phenomenal" AJ Styles.

I know a lot of people will probably disagree with me but I think AJ Styles has the talent to be the next Shawn Michaels of the "Indy" world of wrestling. By this I mean he already has the big match experience such as the legendary Shawn Michaels. He has undeniable great technical wrestling skills and also has great daredevil moves such as the "showstopper." I think AJ Styles also has the one thing that Shawn Michaels always had which is charisma. What Shawn Michaels has achieved in his illustrious career can only be dreamed of. With that said, if there was to be one person who could surpass his legendary career it would be the "Phenomenal" AJ Styles.

AJ Styles just like Shawn Michaels was a tag team in a group called "Air Raid" competitor before realizing his true potential as a singles superstar. Also In NWA TNA AJ Styles held the tag team titles with Jerry Lynn becoming a popular tag team up until AJ Styles turned on his partner. Sound familiar" Shawn Michaels did the exact same thing to Marty Jannetty. AJ Styles and Shawn Michaels both feuded with their former partners before dropping a title to them. Shawn Michaels dropped the Intercontinental title while AJ dropped the X- Division title.

When it comes to titles comparison AJ Styles is no shy competitor. AJ Styles is one of the only people in NWA TNA to have held all 3 titles at one point in his career. Those tittles include NWA tag Team, X division, and World title. I am comparing this to Shawn Michaels who is also one of the only people to have held every major title in the WWE which include WWE World title, Tag Team, Intercontinental, and European.

Another comparison between the two is the way they can make everybody love them whether they are heel or face. The night AJ Styles won the NWA TNA World Title even though he was a heel he got one of the biggest pops in have ever heard inside of NWA TNA. When Shawn Michaels was in the memorable group DX he still got cheered every time he came out even though he was a heel because of his outrageous shenanigans.

AJ styles just like Shawn Michaels is another person to have become the first of something. Shawn Michaels was the one of the competitors to participate in the first ever ladder match. He was also victorious in the first ever ladder match. AJ Styles was one of the competitors in the first ever X-Division title match defeating 3 other competitors such as Jerry Lynn, Low Ki and Psicosis. This signified him as the first ever X-Division Champion.

In closing I know AJ Styles isn't close to surpassing the career of Shawn Michaels' but give him a few more years and you never know you might be calling him "The Phenomenal Showstopper!"

by Anthony Ferguson ..


Anthony Mcmullen wrote:
as far as i'm concerned, to say that styles will be the next shawn michaels is an insult to styles. styles is getting to the top via wresting, not by pyro. also, syles hasn't used politics to achieve those landmarks. also, Michaels didn't get cheered by fans as a heel because of any charisma he had (he was booed outside of America) its because he was part of the dx group, also, styles got cheered as a heel because he a; comes across as a nice guy in real life and b; is a phenomenal talent. By the way, Michaels didnt win the first ladder match, that honor goes to bret hart
Joseph Rother wrote:
Okay, let's set the record straight by burning both ends of this candle. For starters, AJ Styles didn't get popped while he was a heel. I think the fans have to hate you first to be a heel. The fans couldn't hate AJ Styles if he was throwing kittens into traffic, because AJ cannot pull off the whole heel thing. He tried in his match against Paul London in RoH, where before the match he used his wit and wisdom to conjure up this bold statement...

"After I'm done with you... I'm taking that RoH belt. I'll be adding another piece of gold... to the collection."

Okay, I was bored about half way through that promo and was busy stairing at Alexis Laree. Case in point, he's not an all arounder like "The Icon". Shawn Michaels can be a heel... I mean, he plays the heel. It's not that he can't play the heel, like AJ Styles, it's during his matches he makes his opponents look so good and makes himself standout so far above the rest, the people can't help but get caught up in his aura. Then usually, like say in his World title match with Ken Shamrock in 1997 at "In Your House: D-Generation-X" he'll do something to make them remember, "Oh, yeah... BOOO!!!" because he's a showman. He's a lot like the Rock in that sense, because Shawn Michaels, like the Rock, catches the fans up in their aura and makes them forget for awhile... then makes them remember all over again.

You won't see AJ Styles holding the people in the palm of his hands. He might take their breath away. But he's not carrying a match from any other angle than the babyface angle. He just can't help the fact he's a nice, clean cut guy. At this point, he's going to be typecasted for it, much like CM Punk can't get away from the Straight Edge gimmick. It's him. He can't work anything else.

Now that we've established that, let's look at some upsides to Styles. For starters, AJ Styles doesn't play the politics and isn't greedy, perse. He's been offered that big contract in WWE. It's a 50/50 toss up wether he could hang in the land of the Titans, but regardless, he wasn't betting on it. Instead, he went down the smart road. He's continuing to be Mr. TNA. Pulling out great performances left and right.

He doesn't have to hold you in the palm of his hand, most of the time, all he has to do is take your breath away.

So with that in mind, AJ Styles is a showman in his own way. He's an innovator. He doesn't need the flash, all he needs is a highlight reel and a 12 minute timeslot in the main event to get over with the fans. All he has to do is hold out his arms and it gets them pumped. It's about what he's done and what he's capable of doing. Unlike Shawn Michaels in his prime, there is no downside to having an AJ Styles on your roster. I'd compare him more in a way to a Rob Van Dam. Why" Because he's the new "Mr. Pay-Per-View"... every one of his matches are worth your hard earned money.
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