When TNA refused to give their cornerstone AJ Styles the money he felt he deserved after over 10 years with the company, the high-flyer left for bigger and better opportunities. The problem is, TNA offered guaranteed money and a spot on TV. Regardless of how much they paid, they offered relevancy, if nothing more. That alone is why many stay, because unless they’re getting called by WWE, they have no major need to leave TNA. However, AJ had enough of it all.
AJ Styles is not the first TNA Original to leave the company, and even top stars such as Sting have also left. Kurt Angle may also be leaving once his TNA contract expires sometime in the next few months.
AJ felt he could get better money on the Independent scene than in TNA, and thus far… it seems like he has done so. Styles revealed that he did not sign on with TNA due to their low offer. However, was the money TNA offered that bad? It seems so. Styles’ TNA deal in 2013 saw him making $350,000 in the year. Pretty good money, especially for someone who did not finish out the year. They wanted to cut his deal nearly in half by taking $150,000 out, thus putting his deal per year to $200,000. While many of us would be happy to make such a sum, a wrestler such as AJ could make more outside a contract.
It looks like he has done so. Styles claimed on Wrestling Observer Radio that he already beat what he would have made if he signed a deal with TNA this year. So AJ has over $200,000 in his sum for the year. Gotta be a devil on taxes. That being said, the time away from TNA has done him well. Styles is a major name for the Indy scene, so he can ask for a lot of money for both his travel and match expense.
Some at his stage can charge a promotion $4,000 per appearance or more as well as travel, due to the fact that no contract is made. AJ has worked in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and ROH among other places since he left TNA. That pretty much tells you AJ can get calls from anywhere in the world that he wants and make good money for a long time on the Indy scene.
The amount he made in 2013 is more than some WWE names make in that time, the same can be said for his current 2014 total. That shows the skill level he is playing with at TNA, but also it goes to show that one can make money on the Indy scene too.
WWE was said to have offered a low-ball contract to AJ, but that was never confirmed. Most feel we will never see AJ in WWE. However, with the addition of KENTA at his age, anything is possible these days. It all depends on how much he is wanted. If AJ can make this much outside of a contract, especially outside of TNA, I doubt he’ll ever sign a new contract with anyone.
[IMG Credit: DeviantArt-Biggertmedia]