wrestling / Video Reviews

411’s WWE 365 Report: AJ Styles

November 19, 2018 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
AJ Styles WWE

411’s WWE 365 Report: AJ Styles

-Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to watch Survivor Series yet, as all I was able to catch was the Main Event.  That match was excellent and went as I expected, as I didn’t think we would be getting a squash by Brock that some feared.

-Thanks to those who read my review of the Dean Ambrose Network Special from last night, and tonight there is a new episode of WWE 365 that focuses on AJ Styles.  365 covers the life of a WWE Superstar over the course of a year, and the previous ones they have done have been great.  Say what you want about the WWE, but they are fantastic at making these documentaries.

-AJ is asked to pick a word that describes the last 365 days and he says “unbelievable.”  He is amazed where he is today and to him it is hard to believe.  AJ says he wasn’t like most guys that wanted to do this as a kid.  It was something he thought he could do and make money.  By the time he realized you didn’t make money when you started, it was too late as he fell in love with the business.

-We get a highlight package of his time in TNA (which is always great to see).  Voiceover (Michael Rapaport I believe) guy puts over that AJ spent 15 years working for everyone but the question always remained could he make it in the WWE.  AJ says that Vince told him that they needed a pit bull and AJ says he knew what that meant as he is that kind of guy.  This opening package is just fantastic and already makes this a must watch.  AJ says he just wants to enjoy the moment because he doesn’t know how long it will last.

-AJ talks about how quickly those 365 days can pass and he knows it isn’t easy on his family just like its’ not easy for him.  We start at TLC in 2017 where AJ gets a call to leave Chile and head to Minnesota for a match with Balor.  AJ talks about their history as they were part of a faction in Japan and when AJ left, that’s when Balor came in.  They put up some tweets from that night and one mentions Bullet Club by name.  The crowd chanted “This is Awesome” before the match even started and it was a mighty fine match considering the circumstances and props to AJ for getting on 2 flights to make a show on such short notice.  AJ is happy with the way it all went down and he is proud of the match.  He gets a standing ovation as he comes through the curtain and a handshake from Vince McMahon.  He mentions the match was well received and he feels good that the WWE can call on him for anything.

-Off to England as AJ ends our National Nightmare and pins Jinder Mahal to become the WWE Champion.  I was so happy when I read the spoilers and then reality set in that we were getting AJ vs Brock instead of Jinder/Brock so it was a double win.  AJ takes some pictures backstage with the title and Rusev is there to congratulate him and give him a hug.  They then take some pictures together as Rusev throws up 2 Sweet.  Nice!  AJ says that he was thought of as a midcarder when he joined the WWE and he had to prove himself to be someone that could carry the WWE Title.

-Day 29: Houston, TX: Survivor Series:  AJ brings up that he has to pick up where Jinder left off and he only gets ½ a day off.  They show him taking some photos backstage as he delivers the Phenomenal Forearm.  His wife is there and he says the crew is boosting his ego with these pictures.  His wife says that this is all she has known as when they got married he was already in the business.  AJ says he met his wife in high school and their first date was to an Indy show.  Wendy says that the one guy she never wanted AJ to wrestler was Brock Lesnar.  Oops!

-A quick Brock package including him telling Reigns “Suplex City Bitch” at Mania 31.  Fantastic!  The crowd was jacked for Brock/AJ and they delivered one of the best Brock matches in years.  To the shock of nobody, Brock went over clean, but AJ came out of it looking better than nearly everyone else who gets a Brock match.  AJ calls the experience unbelievable and calls the match with Brock probably the biggest he’s had.  It is another moment in his WWE career that he will ever forget.  You can tell he is very proud of the match.  Paul Heyman cuts a promo but before doing it he tells AJ to hang around to hear.  Heyman puts over AJ huge and calls him the single most phenomenal performer he has ever seen up close.  After the director yells “clear,” Heyman shakes AJ’s hand and tells him what he said was a shoot and it was an honor.  Fantastic stuff there that gave me goosebumps.

-Day 32: Nov 22, 2017: Gainesville, Georgia:  AJ gets a break for the first time in a month and he gets a few precious hours at home.  He has lived in Gainesville his entire life and when he is home, he wants to be the father that he needs to be.  AJ’s wife tells him that one of the boys got injured so they had to take him to the hospital to get stitches.  AJ talks about each of his 3 sons and his daughter (the youngest of the 4).  There is a routine that goes on when he isn’t home and he knows that he screws that up when he is home.  He questions when he should retire, but he is just living things moment to moment right now.  He enjoys being the WWE Champion and loves going out and performing to the best of his ability.

-Another video package rolls through Day 57: beating Jinder in the rematch at Night of Champions.  It continues as he goes through the house show circuit before getting to Day 99 where he defends his title at the Royal Rumble against Owens and Sami.

-AJ says the real story that night was Nakamura winning the Rumble and immediately calling him out for Mania.  Styles says they had 1 match before in Japan and this time it won’t be there.  They show some magazine pictures from that one on one match and AJ admits that Nakamura came out on top that night.

-Day 169: WrestleMania 34, New Orleans: AJ talks about the build to Mania and all the things required of them.  They show AJ meeting fans at Axxess and he says meeting them is always cool.  He does some media appearances to hype the match with Nakamura.  They show AJ leaving his hotel the morning of the show, carrying his Mania gear in a trash bag.  He puts over the match with Nakamura being a dream match and he hopes it is everything that everyone is expecting.  Sadly expectations were so high I don’t think they could ever reach them.  When he arrives he runs into Daniel Bryan, who breaks his balls about bringing his gear in a trash bag.  I swear that happened on an episode of Jersey Shore once.

-AJ heads to the arena floor to check out the stage and he is rather impressed.  Now he is getting excited as he pictures walking down the ramp with the building packed.  He catches up with Vince and then meets up with Shane as well.  They wish each other good luck and good health.  Even Rapaport asks if the match can live up to the massive expectations.

-They show highlights from the match and AJ wins with the Styles Clash to end a very good, but not show stealing classic that everyone expected.  All was redeemed though when Nakamura turned heel with the ball shot that AJ still hasn’t learned to defend yet.

-AJ heads backstage and the first thing he does is talk to his daughter on the phone.  His son gets on and tells his dad “well, you got hit in the nuts.”  AMAZING!  His son then points out that the 450 splash was a bit crooked.  Man, kid is tougher than most members of the IWC.

-Day 250: Tokyo, Japan:  As soon as he got off the plane, AJ says all the memories started flooding back.  He talks about his ego falling when he left TNA and it took Japan for him to find AJ Styles again.  He talks about working in The Tokyo Dome.  While he was over here extending his career he came across a place called Super Potato which is a massive video game store.  AJ says he was obsessed with video games as a kid and he still has a problem with them today.  I would love to go to a store like that.  AJ wants to buy an Atari Jaguar and admits it is a terrible system, but he wants it and knows it is going to cost $600.  He decides to sleep on it.

-He meets up with the Good Brothers as they head to Ribera’s Steak House.  The place has photos of wrestling champions hanging on the walls and AJ says that every great wrestling champions eats there and it has become a rite of passage for wrestlers.  I remember a Hogan photo of him in Japan sporting a Ribera’s jacket.  AJ and The Good Brother discuss working together with The Bullet Club.  AJ brings up getting a jacket from the restaurant and that they are only given out to wrestlers.

-Day 251: AJ wakes up and decides to spend the money on not only the Jaguar, but a bunch of games and controllers as well.  Yeah, the man has a problem, but if I had the money, I would probably do the same.  AJ heads over to Sumo Hall and talks about the difference between Japanese fans and American fans.  AJ goes through some exercises with a trainer as he admits he tore his hamstring.  He is told by doctors and trainers to slow down, but he wants nothing more than to be in the ring.  AJ talks about what his body can and can’t do as a trainer stretches out his hamstring and AJ is on the verge of cursing from the pain.  Screw that!

-Still in Japan as AJ is in a tag match with The Good Brothers and he busts out a Bullet Club mask for old time’s sake.  He says the relationship he has with the Japanese fans is special and he doesn’t want to leave, but that means he will always look forward to coming back.

-Day 291: Orlando, FL:  AJ and Jeremy Borash head to Universal Studios and tour Stage 21 where Impact was taped.  This is still surreal to see on a WWE production.  We get footage of AJ winning the X Division Champion, and he talks about how proud he was of that title.  He knew TNA was on to something big when they moved to Orlando.  He took pride in being in a place where he could be the face of a company on the rise.

-AJ and Samoa Joe were rivals in TNA and they each had twists and turns in their careers before getting to the WWE.  AJ puts over how close he is with Joe and he knew how great it was going to be to work with him at SummerSlam.  On the way to SummerSlam, AJ passed JBL to become the longest reigning World Champion in SmackDown history.  They show JBL’s tweet congratulating AJ Styles on breaking his record, and AJ is proud of being a good champion and representative for SmackDown.

-SummerSlam: AJ has his wife and daughter at the show and he says his daughter reacted well the last time she was at a show and hopes he is ok again tonight.  Joe was a fantastic dick here as he talked to Wendy and promised “daddy was coming home tonight,” and then told her that he would be “her new daddy.”  AJ gets disqualified after a great match and his daughter has a great moment when she tells AJ, “daddy you’re bleeding.”  AJ puts over his daughter for being great even if the blood freaked her out a bit.

-Day 350: Melbourne, Australia: AJ does a media tour and hypes the upcoming show.  He says that Australia was the first place he ever went overseas as a wrestler.  He has been there many times since and puts over how great it is to be able to travel the world.  He says that every time there is a big event, he is just excited to get it over with as he wants to see how it turns out.  He puts Joe over for being one of the best.  AJ wishes they could stay longer, but instead only get 1 day in the country before having to leave.

-Day 360: SmackDown 1000: Washington DC: AJ says that SmackDown has been around for almost 20 years and he knows that because his career started around the same time.  He says that SmackDown is the house that AJ built, but all the legends definitely helped put some of the bricks down.

-Imagine Dragons “Whatever It Takes” closes things out as AJ talks about his last year from the match with Balor to the dream matches with Daniel Bryan.  He wants to find something new and he doesn’t know what that is yet.  He is proud of the last year he has had.  Before wrapping up, they show Bryan kicking him in the balls (easily AJ’s weakness in 2018) and winning the WWE Title to end his monster reign.  Rapaport closes by saying it is now a fresh start for AJ as he looks to get back to where he was.

-Great stuff here again as I am a sucker for these documentaries and seeing what these guys (and ladies) go through to be part of the WWE.  AJ was great here as he gave plenty of access to his personal life and business life.  It also showed how respected he is and how just by hard work and talent he become more than anyone ever expected during this run in the WWE.  It is also refreshing having the TNA stuff included as it is needed for guys who spent years there like AJ.  Here’s hoping he isn’t forgotten about in the coming year after carrying SmackDown for the last year.  Definitely take some time out and watch this one when you have a chance.

article topics :

AJ Styles, WWE 365, Robert Leighty Jr.