A.J. Styles is one of the most talented wrestlers in the WWE roster and could have a good match against about anyone. However, the latest backstage WWE rumors suggest that some superstars are complaining about his in-ring style.
“The Phenomenal One” is known for a being stiff worker and some of his fellow wrestlers don’t like it. Stiff in wrestling means using legitimate force when executing a move on the opponent.
WWE Hall of Famer and former announcer Jim Ross refuted the WWE rumors about Styles’ in-ring work in a recent Q&A portion of his JRsBarBQ.com.
“Working stiff isn’t a crime but working in a careless manner is. Don’t believe all that you read or ‘hear,’” Ross said via Wrestle Zone.
A recent incident that indicates Styles’ stiff work is his match with The Miz back in February. He knocked The Miz’s tooth with a spinning back fist.
There were WWE rumors after the match that he received heat for it. In an appearance at 97.9/105.5 KISS FM’s KISS KREW in March, Styles revealed that he did not get any backstage heat but praised The Miz’s toughness.
“You would have [thought] that, but I think I got applauded, actually, for knocking out The Miz’s tooth. Let me tell you something, Miz is one of the toughest cats I’ve ever been in the ring with. He may not come across that way, but he is. He’s one tough dude and you’ve got to respect a guy for hanging in there after getting his tooth knocked out,” Styles said via Wrestling Inc.
Some of the stiffest workers in wrestling history, per What Culture, include John “Bradshaw” Layfield, Hardcore Holly, Vader, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and recent WWE Hall of Fame inductee Stan Hansen.
Even though they are known for their hard-hitting style, they are well-respected in the industry. Daniel Bryan is another WWE superstar who used stiff kicks in his arsenal to make it more realistic.
On the other hand, NXT wrestlers Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura are also known as stiff workers. One example of a stiff matchup is the Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn five-star classic last April 1 at the NXT TakeOver: Dallas event.
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