“There is a lot of rumours and speculation as to the future of AJ Styles. As a lifelong wrestling fans [sic] we’d love nothing more than to see him win the Royal Rumble, finally making the best wrestler on the planet the WWE Champion.
I don’t know if he’s going to be there or not, but I do know on 13th January in Newcastle AJ Styles will face John Morrison to see who becomes the 5 Star Wrestling Champion. Then on the 14th January in Sheffield, he goes on to face the greatest high flier of all time, Rey Mysterio. Before finishing the tour in Liverpool facing off against long time nemesis, Ring of Honor: World Champion Jay Lethal. Could this be his last set of matches in the indies?”
That quote is taken directly from the Facebook of 5 Star Wrestling, from 5th January, in response to rumours that Styles (along with Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows) have signed with WWE. Although WWE have acknowledged the rumours via WWE.com nothing has been confirmed at the time of writing. Despite the lack of confirmation, the rumours have picked up enough traction that they were reported by mainstream non-wrestling sites such as Forbes and Rolling Stone.
Whether the signings turn out to be truth or fiction, their popularity is a testament to AJ Styles being at the pinnacle of the wrestling mountain. The most sought-after professional wrestler on the entire planet who is not currently signed to a WWE contract. Yet. Although best known for his tenure in TNA, and recent time in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Styles has won championships on four different continents, while performing for countless companies across the globe since making his debuting in 1998. He actually even appeared for WCW in 2001 and has already wrestled twice for the WWE (then WWF) in 2002 (losing to The Hurricane and Rico Constantino). His list of accomplishments include three NWA World Heavyweight Championships, two TNA World Heavyweight Championships, six TNA X Division Championships, two IWGP Heavyweight Championships, a ROH Pure Wrestling Championship, topped the PWI 500 in 2010, Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Most Outstanding Wrestler in 2014 and was Calling Spots cover star for issue 13.
Styles is one of the few performers in the world who could legitimately be billed above Rey Mysterio for 5 Star’s Regenesis tour. Debuting in 1992 Mysterio is credited by many as being the greatest high flier of all time after showcasing his incredible talents across three different decades. Mysterio is an eight time WCW/WWE Cruiserweight Champion, two time World Heavyweight Champion, one time WWE Champion, Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Most Outstanding Wrestler in 1996 and is currently a member of three separate Hall of Fame classes Tijuana’s in 2006, AAA’ in 2007 and Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s in 2010. ‘The Biggest Little Man’ is a relative new comer to the independent scene, as he was a member of the WWE roster for thirteen years until March 2015. For many this will their first opportunity to see him perform in years.
In an era where “dream matches” are a rarity, it is no exaggeration to say that Mysterio/Styles is one that fans around the world will have wanted to see for years and 5 Star’s management have been able to make it happen for the second of their three date tour. This is the first time ever that these two bonafide legends have ever faced each other in the squared circle.
Although the main events for the Newcastle and Nottingham shows do not fall into the same “dream match” category, they are both bouts that could headline any show anywhere in the world, especially as both Morrison and Lethal are both established stars from major promotions.
Morrison is best known from his time in WWE, where he was an ECW World Champion and three time Intercontinental Champion. His chiselled physique and acrobatic ability earning him monikers such as ‘The Tuesday Night Delight’ and ‘The Prince of Parkour’.
Lethal is the current ROH World Heavyweight Champion but is perhaps best known for his time in TNA where he won the X Division Championship six times and the TNA World Tag Team Championship (along with current WWE superstar Xavier Woods, then known as Consequences Creed). His time impersonating Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage between 2006 and 2008 under the name ‘Black Machismo’ will also surely go down as a career highlight.
The immense talent is not limited to the main events of 5 Star’s show as other massive former WWE superstars such as Carlito, Justin Gabriel and Colt Cabana (formerly Scotty Goldman) are set to appear along with some of the very best British talent. Grapplers such as Rockstar Spud, Magnus, Zack Sabre Jr, Jimmy Havoc, Joe Coffey, Marty Scurll, Big Damo, Kid Fite, Will Osprey and Lou King Sharp are set to appear in what could be one of the best independent shows of recent times.
We’re delighted to be able to join 5 Star Wrestling for the opening night of this monumental tour.
For more information or for tickets go to www.5starwrestling.co.uk
– Neil ‘619’ Rogers Jr.