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The Story of a... Pro Wrestler

‘The Phenomenal’ AJ STYLES, 32, has won every title in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, which is broadcast from Universal Studios. A longtime crowd favorite as a hero, he is now loathed as a villain.

Photo By Norma Lopez Molina

I have no idea what my won-loss record is. I get paid either way.

I got into wrestling because I wanted to make money. Little did I know that you don’t make anything when you first start. Nothing. You’re driving six hours for $20 just to get the experience.

The first time that I ever wrestled, they put me under a mask. ‘Mr. Olympia.’ The mask had [Olympic] rings on it.

I’m on the road four to five days a week. Thank God for Skype. I can at least see my kids grow up. I have a 5-year-old, 3-year-old and 6-month-old. All boys.

My boys see my TV image as a playboy and say, ‘Hey, Mom, Dad’s got two girlfriends. Whatcha going to do about it?’

I’m going to miss being a hero. But at the same time it’s so much fun being a villain, getting fans worked up so much that they want to take my head off. That’s when I know I’ve done my job, when they are ready to kill me.

There’s not as much rehearsing that goes into a match as you might think. A couple of minutes of talking about what we’re going to do, that’s all. If I know someone well enough I can tell them what to do while we’re in the ring.
 
Nobody likes getting hit with a chair. Nobody.

Why am I nicknamed ‘The Phenomenal?’ Because I am.

The ‘Styles Clash’ is hard to explain. I’ll hold you upside-down, step over your arms and jump in the air, so you’re going face first into the mat.

If I weren’t a wrestler I think I would be a cop.

No matter how much you love doing something there is going to be a day, maybe a couple days, that you get up and say, ‘God, I don’t want to leave the house and get on another freakin’ plane. I don’t want to leave my kids, no matter what it pays.’

I am blessed to do what I do. I am not complaining. If things keep going the way they’re going, I will be able to retire early and enjoy my kids.

My best friends are in this business. These guys are
my family.

I love the robe. The robe’s not going anywhere.

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