Source: The Wrestling Observer
UPDATE: According to sources, AJ Styles and Austin Aries signing with WWE is changing the way the company looks at new talent acquisitions. As previously reported here on eWrestlingNews.com, WWE has had no interest in Styles or Aries in the past, due to their size and looks, but the success of Aries in WWE NXT and the way Styles has gotten over on the main roster has caused WWE to change its mentality on signing “great workers who looked like normal guys.” As far as “normal guys” are concerned, it’s likely because Aries and Styles don’t fit the typical WWE mold, which is “big men”.
As previously reported (see below), AJ Styles was initially expected to be a “midcarder at best.” As previously reported, the fan reaction to AJ Styles at the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view and live events has caused WWE to consider Styles one of the promotion’s current “top five stars.”
ORIGINAL: When AJ Styles first debuted with WWE at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view event, he was originally set to be a “mid-level wrestler.”
As you’d imagine, that plan changed after the reaction he received from the live crowd at the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Styles has gone on record in recent interviews, saying he was even surprised by the reaction he got. Thanks to the Royal Rumble reaction, and more importantly, the reactions he gets at live events, WWE now considers him “one of the company’s top five stars.”