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Phenomenal wrestling star comes home
Hall native Styles among TNA performers at Sunday event
Hall County native A.J. Styles will be in action in the ring Sunday when the TNA Impact wrestling circuit visits the Georgia Mountains Center.

TNA Wrestling

When: 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Georgia Mountains Center, Gainesville

Tickets: On sale at Mountains Center box office or by phone at 1-770-534-8420; .

More info: TNA Wrestling website

The stars of Spike TV's Total Nonstop Action wrestling's "TNA iMPACT," including Johnson High graduate "The Phenomenal" A.J. Styles, will perform at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Mountains Center.

Styles, a.k.a. Allen Jones, began with TNA in 2002 and has blended his wrestling career with his personal faith.

"It's not something that I get to share a lot on TV," Styles said in an interview with The Times last fall. "But I think for the most part if they know A.J. Styles, they know he's a Christian. I'm not one of those guys on the TV cussing because I'm just not comfortable with it."

Yet in the intense atmosphere of pro wrestling, he has had to straddle a line.

"Unfortunately, wrestling, sometimes you're perceived as cool or whatever if you do cuss a lot, whereas I just can't see myself saying that," he said.

"The kids want to see you're super tough, saying super tough words. So I've got to let my ring work speak for itself."

Styles' busy schedule includes weekend "house shows," such as Sunday's, plus tapings for the weekly episodes of TNA Wrestling and occasional pay-per-view specials.

He also has traveled with TNA wrestlers for shows overseas.

"One of my favorite places is Sydney, Australia. And Korea — I've been there a couple times now," he said. "They treat us like superstars there, five-star hotels. I remember staying at the hotel and you can take the elevator all the way down to the hotel's mall that's under the hotel. It's so cool."

Yet he still misses home in North Hall County.

"You're gone so much, it's nice to sleep in your own bed. ... I love this place," he said. "I told my wife the other day, if we win the lottery, we're buying the house across the street or something. We'll never move."

Sunday's event will include a chance for fans to visit wrestlers backstage, with ticket holders in the first four rows getting a special meet-and-greet with the wrestlers at 4 p.m.

Among the other wrestlers scheduled to perform are The Motorcity Machine Guns, "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero, "The Charismatic Enigma" Jeff Hardy, TNA Knockout Madison Rayne and "The Monster" Abyss.