So I was about to post this to Facebook as a short “Go out of your way to watch this!” type of post, but as I kept typing, I realized I really needed to add it here.
Another dare I say “phenomenal” documentary type of production piece from WWE centering on following a single WWE Superstar’s life over the course of 365 days, this one had been announced quite awhile ago to the point that I was starting to wonder if it was actually going to be released until just the other day when it was announced via an email from WWE Network saying it would be airing following Survivor Series.
Let me say this…AJ Styles is a guy who’s career has been so amazingly fulfilling to follow from his early days at the beginning of the formation of Impact Wrestling, formerly known as NWA-TNA and later TNA (Total Nonstop Action) Wrestling.
The documentary even goes into bringing you up to speed on his history in TNA and later, New Japan. It’s explained how the X-Division was built around AJ and how he loved defining that X-Division Championship and building that brand with others like Samoa Joe.
He also explains about how his ego had taken a big hit when leaving TNA and how he needed to find himself again in New Japan and how he’s glad he did have that stop in between TNA and WWE because he most likely wouldn’t have showed up in WWE ready to take on the world with the chip on his shoulder that he did, knowing how great of a performer he truly is.
I’m not going to give the whole story away here, but please…if you even mildly like AJ, go out of your way to watch this! They truly position AJ as being the once in a lifetime talent that he is and don’t center on insecurities about whether what he’s doing is what Vince wants as they did with the Kevin Owens piece.
A lot of time goes into examining the crazy schedule AJ keeps and his desire to do everything the company asks of him (like going from a Smackdown South America tour to the Raw TLC PPV in Minneapolis to wrestle Bálor as a sub for an ill Bray Wyatt).
There’s even a lot of great footage shot from WWE’s overseas tour in Japan, where AJ along with Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson explain the importance of the Tokyo Dome and Korakuen Hall, likening it to Madison Square Garden. They even take us to Ribera Steakhouse, where they show them getting the iconic Ribera jackets that every wrestler who has ever toured Japan always goes out of their way to aquire as a rite of passage.
Also a really great segment I absolutely loved was Paul Heyman asking AJ to stick around off camera while he cuts a post-match promo putting over AJ after his match with Brock Lesnar at last year’s Survivor Series pay per view because he wanted to make sure he heard it. It’s one of those segments that really tugs at your heart strings and I’m not ashamed to say that I teared up listening to Heyman while watching AJ standing there just off to the side knowing not only how much of a legend in the business Paul Heyman is, but also over the course of his tenure, knowing what kind of amazing talents he’s been able to work with firsthand.
This piece is so emotionally satisfying to see this guy who I’ve been watching for 16 years killing it on the biggest stage. The piece fittingly closes out with Imagine Dragons’ Whatever It Takes
Go watch it, you won’t be let down!