A.J. Styles has been one of the top stars in professional wrestling since he burst onto the scene as the high-flying X-Division leader in TNA Wrestling.

It’s been nearly 22 years since he made his debut with TNA Wrestling, and in those more than two decades of climbing his way to the top, Styles’ superstardom went to new heights when he made his debut at the Royal Rumble in 2016.


AJ Styles in Pittsburgh

A.J. Styles makes his entrance during SmackDown at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on April 19, 2024. (WWE/Getty Images)

Since then, Styles has been a two-time WWE champion, a three-time United States champion and a one-time Intercontinental champion. He and Omos won what’s now known as the World Tag Team Championship. With those accolades, Styles was the 15th Grand Slam champion.

He also participated in The Undertaker’s last match in WWE – a cinematic Boneyard Match that took place on the first night of WrestleMania 36 in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Undertaker, whose real name is Mark Calaway, gave Styles some major praise on his “Six Feet Under” podcast. He compared him to the great Shawn Michaels because of his in-ring ethic and ability to make anyone look good in the ring.

Styles responded to the compliments in an interview with Fox News Digital.

Undertaker slams The Rock

The Rock and The Undertaker fight during the second night of WrestleMania 40 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on April 7, 2024. (WWE/Getty Images)

“It’s big praise coming from someone like him,” he said. “‘Taker is a legend, no doubt about it, respected by everyone in the business. If you’ve ever met him, he’s such a likable guy. For him to say something like that is pretty awesome.”


“I look at Shawn and I look back at his matches and how unbelievable they were, and then especially the ones with The Undertaker, they were so good. That’s pretty awesome. I’m just flattered he would say something like that.”

Styles added that he doesn’t necessarily point out himself in the younger generation, because he has been of the mindset that everyone has to be unique in their own way.

AJ Styles in 2018

A.J. Styles attends Fan Expo Canada at Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Aug. 30, 2018. (Che Rosales/Getty Images)

“That’s a tough one. I never look at someone like me, like, ‘They’re kind of like me.’ I don’t look at them like that, because I always thought that we got to be our own,” he said. “Every time I did something different, like my moves, I try to make sure they’re very unique – they’re my move set so that you don’t think of someone else. When I do a move, you think of me.”

“I never look at it like that. I can tell when something’s bothering them, and I just maybe give them a word of confidence or something like that, because this is a roller coaster in the WWE and wrestling in general. Sometimes they need a boost and whatnot. And hopefully, I’m there to help them out with that, because I know how hard it is to be a professional wrestler.”

Styles will try to win the WWE Championship for a third time when he takes on Cody Rhodes at Backlash on Saturday. Backlash will be held in Décines-Charpieu, Lyon Metropolis, France. It’s the first WWE premium live event to be held in France.

Cody Rhodes and AJ Styles

Cody Rhodes, left, and A.J. Styles shake hands at Heritage Bank Center in Cincinnati on April 26, 2024. (WWE/Getty Images)


The show begins at 1 p.m. ET and can be seen on Peacock.

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