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DGS Main Event Pro Wrestler of the Year – A.J. Styles

AJ Styles (Phoenix News Times)

AJ Styles (Phoenix News Times)

I don’t think there was any doubt that the last recipient of this year’s DGS Main Event Awards would be a “Phenomenal” choice. A.J. Styles has had a year to remember, easily winning the award for Wrestler of the Year.

When it was announced that WWE signed A.J. Styles, fans were ecstatic. The man started the year with a bout many claimed was a Match of the Year candidate, against Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestle Kingdom 10. A few weeks later, he made his debut at the Royal Rumble at number 3. The building erupted and a new age in WWE officially began.

Since that day in January, A.J, Styles has been on a tear, competing in high profile match after high profile match. His first major program with the company was with Chris Jericho. As expected, these two put on great matches, and then formed a tag team. Y2AJ was good for what it was, until Jericho turned on Styles. The two met at WrestleMania 32, where Styles finally got to have his big moment in front of a record-setting crowd. In a weird twist, Jericho won the match, which upset some fans. That didn’t stop A.J.’s momentum however.

Immediately after WrestleMania, Styles became number one contender for Roman Reigns’ WWE Title. Around that time, Styles’ buddies from the Bullet Club (Anderson and Gallows) debuted. Once A.J. sided with them and turned heel, he really picked up steam. Losing his feud with Roman (in matches in which he really carried Reigns), A.J. then had a series of great matches with John Cena. Their program together was one of the best WWE had to offer, with A.J. coming out on top almost every time. He’s brought out the best in everyone he’s faced, and the crowd loves him for every ounce of effort he puts into his matches.

Moving to SmackDown after the draft proved to be the best thing to happen to him, as he lived a dream and won the WWE Title from Dean Ambrose at No Mercy. His presence as a champion in WWE is beyond anything I have ever seen. As “The face that runs the place”, A.J. Styles has made WWE his personal playground in only a year.

A.J. Styles is the most complete wrestler in WWE, maybe even in all of professional wrestling. He was ranked number four in the PWI 500 for 2016, and just like Jay Lethal, I believe he should have been higher (top spot?). He was last year’s Wrestler of the Year for the Wrestling Observer and I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes back-to-back. Styles adapts to any situation, making his transition easier than most wrestlers.

Once a TNA Original, A.J. Styles can now say he owns the WWE. He was THE man to watch in 2016, and the wrestling world should be thankful for a man like him. Will his sophomore year be better? Only time will tell, but I’m sure he’ll do whatever it takes to outdo himself. Its in his DNA after all.

Daniel Yanofsky

Daniel Yanofsky

Daniel is a Managing Editor at, and covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). He is also the lead New York Mets writer. When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a Sunday podcast, The Main Event.
Daniel Yanofsky

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