Former TNA star-turned-NJPW star AJ Styles has made a big name for himself in the world of professional wrestling and has made a lot of money at his position in the world of it all. He has never worked under contract for WWE yet was able to prove how good he was by working well in TNA and NJPW and earning the money a top star would earn there.
WWE was reportedly interested in Styles when he left TNA and it was rumored they offered a lowball amount, which Styles declined. Styles said this rumor wasn’t true, but the truth in it all is that the WWE does have interest and he is easily on their radar right now.
AJ Styles recently sat down with former TNA announcer Taz on his podcast, Bodyslams and Beyond. There he answered a lot of questions for the Human Suplex Machine. Taz asked AJ if he would be interested in going to WWE NXT. Styles said,
“At this point in my career, I’m going to go do what’s best for my family and I want to do what’s best to provide for them. So, the business that we’re in, if the business could be better somewhere else, then that’s where I’m going to go. That’s what I’m going to do. So, like I said, it’s a business plan. Wherever the plan takes me, that’s where I’ll go.”
He also said that his dream match right now would be to face Rey Mysterio.
Styles is certainly not against the idea of NXT, but he did mention that he was happy where he was. So if WWE never made him the offer or he never could make a deal himself with them, then he is by no means going to have trouble finding work. The one thing that does hurt him in the eyes of WWE is that he plans to retire in the next few years.
WWE rarely invests in guys of older age, but they have made exceptions lately with the likes of former TNA stars Samoa Joe and James Storm, who are 36 and 38 respectively. Meanwhile AJ Styles happens to be 38 years old. The age and retirement talks are certainly not helping him in the eyes of WWE. However, this is not a bad thing. WWE NXT records all of its shows in the span of a week for each period of television. They then do light live events around the country which might pick up but would surely not be anything close to what the main roster does.
Samoa Joe has a deal that allows him currently to take on Indy events on top of his NXT work. However, WWE is said to be wanting him to be exclusive as he is doing quite well for them and is going to be in the hunt for the NXT Championship soon. This does not mean he will win the championship by any means, but WWE does feel he is a star for them and his ability to work at a high level puts him on another level compared to others.
Joe is also set for the table for three show on the WWE Network, so it seems the company is invested in him.
If WWE can do that with Joe and even allow an older Storm to come in, naturally a guy at the level of AJ Styles would be given an opportunity at the least. His deal with NJPW is up by the end of December and that means by January, he could make his way to NXT if he and WWE come to terms by then. Many believe they will surely want AJ, while others think that Styles is not going to leave Japan. We shall see what comes of things.
[Images via TNA, ROHWrestling.com, YouTube]