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COMMENT





Styles still showing he's X-cellent champ
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun

Allen Jones is a helluva guy. Good Christian. Good husband ... soon to be a good dad. And, as AJ Styles, he's a great wrestler, the Phenomenal One to be sure. Styles will put his X Division championship on the line tonight in a 30-minute Ironman match against Christopher Daniels at TNA's Against All Odds pay-per-view.

Styles, a former collegiate wrestler, is a 215-lb. high-flying, risk-taking bundle of energy, competing in the innovative X Division that is seemingly the highlight of every TNA show.

"The X Division is a totally different style," Styles told the Sun the other day. "It's awesome to be the champion. It just seems like the X Division matches get crazier all the time."

Isn't all of this dangerous?

"The X stands for X-Treme," said Styles, who could be a hot commodity when his contract expires in September. It wouldn't be surprising if WWE comes knocking.

"The week before I started in TNA, WWE offered me a deal (for their developmental territory) in Cincinnati ... $500 a week," said Styles. "But I was the sole provider. My wife (Wendy) was in college. It's God first and family second.

"And I wasn't going to have my wife (now a school teacher) move back in with her family."

"I'd like to stay with TNA. But this is a business ... this is what I do. I will make sure my business grows to support my family."

So Styles set out on his TNA journey, a wrestling voyage that began when he tagged along with some buddies to a wrestling school in Cornelia, Ga.

He wrestled his first match as Mr. Olympia, wearing a mask, losing to Michael Brooks.

Wrestling on weekends, he carried on with regular jobs -- delivering water ... or as a night emergency ambulance driver, anything to put the food on the table.

He got his foot in the door, latching onto this wrestling thing as a full-time habit ... accepting all the bumps and bruises as a way of life.

"There have been times when I've been ready to give up," he said. "You get tired of being hurt. It gets old. But that feeling only lasts for a couple of hours."

And then it's back at it. Throwing his body in harm's way.

Styles and his wife are expecting their first child, a boy, on April 30.

"It's already changing me," said Styles. "Worrying about things like if he has all his fingers and toes."

But no doubt Styles will throw himself into parenthood like he does with wrestling. And that's a good thing.

- Other Against All Odds matches: Jeff Jarrett vs. Kevin Nash; America's Most Wanted vs. Kid Kash and Lance Hoyt; Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss (Tables, Ladders, Chairs and Chains match); Alpha Male Monte Brown and Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eric Young and Bobby Roode; Dustin Rhodes vs.Raven; Primetime Elix Skipper vs. Petey Williams; and BG James and Jeff Hammond vs. Michael Shane and Kazarian. The pay-per-view begins at 8 p.m.

RELATED LINKS

  • More on AJ Styles


    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!


  • Check out Phenomenal: The Best of AJ Styles Double DVD

    - Let me get this straight. Brock Lesnar quit WWE to give the NFL a try, turning his back on a contract worth about $1 million US a year. To get his release, he signed a no-compete clause, meaning he cannot wrestle anywhere else until 2010. His NFL career didn't pan out and now he's suing WWE to have the no-compete clause lifted. At 6-foot-3, 295 lbs., Lesnar was a WWE champ. As a wannabe-NFLer, he was mediocre. Now The Next Big Thing is Not Really a Big Thing. There is a consolation prize. He's marrying former WWE diva Sable this spring.

    - Sparks flew as Tray Hugh Mongus retained his heavyweight title against MOB mate Thunder last Saturday in Hull. In other matches: Taurus beat Frank "The Beast" Bradley; Drake Styles no contest vs. Conquistador 41; Rass Monsour beat Psycho; Moonlight beat Sweet Cherrie; Pistola beat Koko Monsour via DQ; Micheal Von Payton and Dave Titan beat Roy Stevens and Steve Stinger; Jaguar beat Zakk "The Freak" Manson. CPW will return to the Robert Guertin Arena with a huge show on April 30.

    - Tajiri and William Regal won the tag titles off La Resistance on Smackdown!

    - Look for Pro Wrestling Superstars -- Past, Present and Future's And Violence for All pay-per-view on BellExpressVU Feb. 13, 20 and 27. Matches: Balls Mahoney vs. Vampire Warrior in a bloodbath; D-Lo Brown vs. Johnny Swinger; Sabu vs. Chris Sabin; Luke and Butch vs. Swinger and Otis Apollo; Trent Acid vs. Excess 69.

    tim.baines@ott.sunpub.com