AJ Styles in WWE. It’s the stuff of dreams for many a longtime wrestling aficionado. And although Styles seems to be relatively happy regarding the current state of his career, he’s not closing the door on a foray into WWE’s developmental program NXT at some point in the future.
Styles was a guest on the radio program Inside the Ropes earlier this week, and when presented with the inevitable question as to whether or not he would ever consider an offer to perform in NXT, AJ broke down the issues that would factor into such a decision.
“The first thing I’m gonna do is what’s best for me and my family, that’s what I’m gonna do,” Styles said according to a partial transcript posted by WrestleZone. “People know I was in TNA but I don’t think people think of me now as ‘The TNA guy’ Now they see me as a ‘New Japan guy’ or a ‘Ring of Honor guy.’ I had to work to make sure I wasn’t known as a TNA guy to get my product — being AJ Styles — out there again but at the end of the day like I say, whatever’s best for me and my family I’ll do.”
Also in the interview, Styles discussed the end of his time with TNA and his feelings regarding how he came to part ways with the company.
“This is a business,” Styles said. “Despite what people may think ‘AJ left TNA’ this is a job. I thought I deserved a little bit more for all the effort and stuff into, you know any business, and to not get paid what I think I deserve would be dumb. You don’t work hard to take a step down, you work hard to take steps up. I went out and found a step up in the wrestling business and if there’s another opportunity to step up, then I’ll do that.”
At the moment, it appears that the 37-year-old grappler is on somewhat chilly terms with his former employer. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, AJ Styles has allegedly declined an offer to be inducted into TNA’s Hall of Fame. Via Twitter, he explained that New Japan and Ring of Honor are his homes now in the wrestling world while noting that that he doesn’t exactly “hate” Dixie Carter’s struggling promotion, either.
AJ’s tone towards a prospective spot in WWE is decidedly measured compared to previous comments. Late last year, Styles appeared on the Talk’n Shop podcast with his fellow Bullet Club members and was rather dismissive of the possibility that he would be interested in a run with the biggest wrestling company in the world.
“Why would I want to go to WWE?” he said in remarks transcribed by Wrestling Inc. “I mean honestly… They’re struggling right now with the [WWE] Network… I’m in the hottest wrestling company in the world — New Japan — and I’m with the hottest wrestling group. We can say it over and over again. It’s absolutely true.”
AJ Styles’ above-noted reservations notwithstanding, it seems that he’s at least open to the possibility of jumping to the ‘E someday, provided that the price is right and his personal needs are both met and respected by company brass. Where many folks might have thought they’d been in wrestling heaven earlier this year when Jim Ross finally called a match featuring The Phenomenal One (during the critically acclaimed Global Force Wrestling Show in Tokyo), there remains a vocal and optimistic contingent of true believers who want to see AJ Styles in WWE. Maybe someday, they’ll get their wish.
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