WWE Superstar AJ Styles shocked wrestling fans with an upset victory over Kevin Owens last night to win the United States Championship, but Styles also won something even more important — the respect of his estranged father, Joey.
“Oh my god!” the elder Styles tweeted last night after his son won the championship at a Madison Square Garden event. “My boy has finally made me proud.”
Growing up as the son of a famous wrestling commentator, the younger Styles seemed doomed to always live in the Joey’s shadow, but the second-generation star persevered.
Father and son became estranged in 2012, after it was alleged that AJ had fathered an illegitimate child with a woman named Claire Lynch, although these allegations were later proven to be a scurrilous attempt at blackmail.
Although Joey Styles never pursued an in-ring career, his stardom as the solo announcer of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) left big shoes that many people doubted AJ could ever fill.
Now that father and son have reconciled, AJ is planning to have his father’s name and birthdate tattooed on his torso.