UK wrestler Lionheart writes open letter to AJ Styles

UK wrestler Lionheart recently posted the following open letter on Facebook to former TNA star and current New Japan & ROH performer AJ Styles, asking him to stop using his “Styles Clash” finishing move after Yoshitatsu announced yesterday on Twitter that he suffered a broken neck taking a bad landing on Styles’ Styles Clash at the 11/8 New Japan “Power Struggle” iPPV. Lionheart also suffered a broken neck taking a bad landing off the Styles Clash in a match with Styles earlier this year in the UK. Lionheart’s letter is as follows:

I’ll make the assumption he sees this somehow so please read and share… I’d like to openly address him…

Firstly, I hope things are well for you and family… I wanted to write you because I feel it’s important someone speak up in a more formal and diplomatic manner, as opposed to simply throwing abuse via anonymous social media ramblings…

Here’s the truth… The move is not directly dangerous… It’s a simple move in principle… Arms and legs locked, you fall forward, guy looks up/back, easy… The Styles Clash ‘on paper’ is a fairly safe and basic process…

That said, what is dangerous, is the instinctual reaction of your opponent… The wrestler taking the move, who like any wrestler taking any move, their safety and welfare is the priority…

Without ANY injuries, it could be argued that the mechanics of the move are unnatural, and injury could easily happen due to the physical restrictions and instinctual habits of the recipient… The numbers now are surely too great to even call it an argument?

I’m more than happy to be educated on my statistics, but there can be no move in wrestling history that carries more (documented) serious and potentially career threatening injuries than this… This, is what makes the move dangerous, whether indirectly or not…

Thus far, more specifically the last 12 months, several performers, actual experienced athletes, have been injured with this, 2 of them now with broken necks… The question I want to put to you honestly is, what does it take? What will it actually take for you to stop using this move, at the very least on an independent level, with people not necessarily exposed to the experience of working with you and taking the move semi regularly… How honestly will you feel the day you receive the news that the man you just wrestled has a broken neck and will never walk again? Statistically, that day is coming… It is a mathematical certainty…

I take this opportunity now, to openly and publicly beg you… Please, stop using the Styles Clash… You are unquestionably one of the greatest in ring performers of our time, I truly believe that… But the time is now, to put all pride, ego, blame aside, and acknowledge that irrelevant of fault, circumstance or anything else, the move is a direct risk and a danger to the safety and well being of your fellow wrestler…

All the best.

A

Styles has yet to respond to the open letter as of this writing.