Former two-time NXT Champion Karrion Kross recently expressed high praise for fellow pro-wrestler AJ Styles during an engaging conversation on Konnan's Keepin It 100 podcast. Kross, whose wrestling understanding and performance are well-regarded in the industry, was particularly effusive about Styles' extraordinary aptitude within the ring, a quality he defines as a superior "ring IQ." Kross lauded Styles, affectionately dubbed 'The Phenomenal One,' for his strategic prowess and perceptiveness within the squared circle, saying, "He's amazing to work with.
Yes, indeed, he's the best. The distinguishing attribute with Styles, and I fully concur with the sentiment that he's one of the top 10 wrestlers in history, is his distinctive ring IQ, unlike any I've come across." He took a moment to explain his concept of 'ring IQ' for the uninitiated.
In his words, ring IQ refers to a wrestler's ability to architect a match, factoring in elements like timing, location, and the personalities involved, showcasing a level of professional aptitude often reserved for the game's true greats.
Styles: Pioneer Beyond His Era
Kross then pivoted the conversation back to Styles, elucidating his belief that the multiple-time world champion's innovative techniques remain significantly ahead of their time. Styles' nuanced approach to the sport, he believes, will be the subject of study and emulation for future generations of wrestlers long after the Phenomenal One hangs up his boots.
"Styles has always been ahead of the curve, even during his rise in TNA," Kross stated. "I still believe he remains ahead of his time, even today. His unique style includes elements and nuances that most people might not recognize now.
But I am certain that in a decade or so, scholars of the sport will study his methods and realize he was the only one pioneering such techniques."
While Kross chose to keep the specifics of these techniques under wraps, he teased fans and future wrestling enthusiasts by saying, "If you're familiar with Styles' work, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about." Amid a dynamic and ever-evolving pro-wrestling landscape, such mutual respect and admiration between two game stalwarts underscore the relentless pursuit of excellence that continues to push the boundaries of the sport.
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