AJ Styles had perhaps the best year for a new talent coming to WWE. He debuted at the Royal Rumble where he got the biggest ovation on the entire show. He faced Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania 32. Then he went on to beat John Cena three times, became the WWE champion and the top guy on SmackDown Live.
When Styles comes out on the show, he always gets one of the biggest pops of the night. But that isn't supposed to happen. Styles is a heel, and has been since June. Still, the fans insist on cheering.
"Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow," Styles said on a recent media press conference call. "My job is to be whatever they tell me to be as AJ Styles. Sometimes it doesn't work exactly the way that you want it to because sometimes the fans decide for you. It's not the first time they've acted like this with certain guys, and it's flattering, to be honest with you. No matter what I say or do, sometimes I can't get them to boo me. But at the same time, I do my best and I'm happy to get a response whether it be bad or good."
Being in the "World Series of Pro Wrestling" was an experience Styles will never forget. He was fortunate to get an opportunity that many including himself felt would never happen.
"You just don't realize how big WrestleMania is until you're a part of it," said Styles. "Being at the biggest WrestleMania ever was mind-blowing and exciting, all at the same time. I didn't think I would ever have the opportunity to wrestle at WrestleMania, so it's one of those things where I finally had my WrestleMania moment, which I thought I would never have. Certainly, it was exciting, and it was almost too much to take in. The next night I had to sit down and go, 'wow, I just did WrestleMania. I am definitely a WWE Superstar.' It was a great moment in my career, for sure."
One of the big things wrestling fans want to see in 2017 is the main roster debut of Shinsuke Nakamura. Styles and Nakamura had one of the best matches 2016 at Wrestle Kingdom 10. The Phenomenal One can't wait for his former opponent to get the call up and become one of the biggest stars in the world.
"I can't wait for Shinsuke Nakamura to move up from NXT to the main roster. I know he's a talent that is definitely going to be one of the biggest in the world. I knew that years ago. It's exciting, all the new things that are coming Smackdown and Raw's way, with the Japanese stars like Shinsuke, and others."