He's gone against some incredibly over babyfaces, including names like John Cena and Dean Ambrose, and yet seems to be as over as ever despite his full on heelish tendencies. Styles addressed the process of getting fans to boo him in a match with AL.com.
"Sometimes I feel like if I'm not getting people to boo me, then I'm not doing my job right. So that's on me. I need to be better about being the bad guy. And sometimes they just refuse. These fans just refuse to accept me as the bad guy. That has a lot to do with how much time I spent outside the WWE and coming here and doing so well, they respect that, I guess you could say. But it's up to me to make sure that these fans find a way to boo me. And I think that when you're in the ring with guys like John Cena where people love to boo him but when you cut a promo the way he did last Tuesday night, you've got to love that. You've got to love the passion that he presents, and that ultimately makes me the bad guy when someone with that passion comes at you like that. It was a really great moment."
It's popular nowadays to boo the babyfaces and cheer the heels, and it's a struggle that many superstars deal with on a daily basis. John Cena is the prime example, as despite being the number one babyface (and merchandise seller) in the WWE he still elicits as many boos as cheers.
Styles also reflected on his first year in WWE, saying "It's one of those things like 'Oh, wow.' I hope I'm able to continue kicking tail. Nothing's going to change. I'm going to go out there and do what I do and keep working hard. It's hard to look back and reflect. There may be glimpses of 'Oh wow, I can't believe that happened. All right, back to work.' Someone tweeted me about this time last year, the WWE said something on their website about Nakamura, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows and AJ Styles may be coming to the WWE, and I thought 'Wow that's pretty cool. That was a year ago today.' So I thought that was really neat."
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