Read This Heartbreaking Letter to Pro Wrestler AJ Styles From a Grieving Dad
Professional wrestler AJ Styles is known as the “phenomenal one” thanks to his flashy moves, but it is his outside-the-ring response to a letter from Michael Bongiovanni that’s gaining him plenty of praise.
It’s not what you do inside the ring, it’s what u do outside of it. I am thankful for this moment with Nicky. https://t.co/g4zQ1GfBW9
— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) January 30, 2017
On January 30, the popular wrestler shared a letter on Twitter from the father of a young fan. The missive from Bongiovanni begins by explaining that he and his wife had purchased tickets to a WWE event for their son Nick for Christmas. Bongiovanni explains that his son, who suffered from ADHD, adored wrestling and Styles in particular.
“You see Mr. Styles, Nick had ADHD and when Nick liked something he would hyper focus on it. So Wrestling, WWE in particular, was his love. From the moment he opened his eyes to minute he closed them ,it was all about wrestling. If he wasn’t playing with his figures, he was on Xbox or on the computer looking up things about wrestlers. The WWE was like family to him,” he wrote.
Tragedy struck the family when Michael Bongiovanni’s mother passed away. Young Nick gave up his wrestling tickets in order to attend the funeral. However, he unexpectedly received the chance to see his WWE heroes up close at the airport. Bongiovanni explains:
“…on December 26, 2016 we were scheduled to fly to New York from Florida on 7:10 flight which was delayed to 9 then 10 PM. The Airlines then switched us to another flight at 9PM. After very long stressful day we touched down in Newark airport around 11:45PM. We’re walking through the Terminal and I hear Nick say “Mom there goes Dolphin Ziggler”. (WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler) But Ziggler had earbuds in and didn’t hear him. Then I hear him say very excited ” that’s AJ Styles” your response was ” what’s up Bud, I have to catch a flight for a show in Chicago”, my wife told we on the way to his Nana’s funeral. At that point you stopped dead in your tracks and said “come here bud, who has a camera”.
The father explains that Styles interacting with his son and taking a photo — despite needing to catch a flight — made his son’s night. He wrote, “It was all he could talk about and we said we going write to let you know how special it was.”
The letter was unfortunately not to be however, as Nick was involved in an accident that left him brain dead on January 26. Despite the horrible situation, Michael Bongiovanni kept his word to his son and reached out to Styles, writing about what the brief meeting meant to his son over the final month of his life.
“I promised we would write this letter together but we weren’t able to,” he wrote. “I needed to write this for him. But from me I wanted to thank you giving my Nicky a gift he was so happy with. It was so very special to him. He would walk around chanting ” AJ Styles! AJ Styles!” And although he only had memory for a month, it was one of his most special memories. My family would like to thank you! You could of just walked by but you stopped and made one special little boy so happy!”
Styles shared the letter with his over 500,000 twitter followers. In addition, he contacted the family personally. Unfortunately, Nick passed away just hours after.
It’s with a broken heart that I tell you Nicky passed this afternoon, shortly after @AJStylesOrg‘s phone call to my uncle.
— Fallon Prinzivalli (@iamqueenfal) January 31, 2017
In addition, Styles tweeted a link to the family’s GoFundMe page, which blew past it’s initial $25,000 goal in only 12 hours thanks to the attention.