Before Sting appeared at last year’s Survivor Series, he was the answer to the trivia question, who is the most popular United States-based wrestler to never appear for WWE? But now that Sting is a part of World Wrestling Entertainment, the answer to that question now could be AJ Styles.
For several years, AJ Styles was the face of the number two wrestling organization in the United States, TNA, and now, he’s arguably doing the best work of his career over in Japan for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Most fans are confused as to why WWE has never attempted to sign Styles over the years. But the fans aren’t the only ones who are confused, as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin doesn’t understand why WWE hasn’t signed, or, at least attempted to sign the former TNA Champion.
“Stone Cold” appeared on two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair’s podcast [WOOOOO! Nation] and the two of them talked about how WWE needs more veterans in the locker room, and Austin added that he doesn’t know why WWE hasn’t signed AJ Styles yet.
“I don’t know why WWE doesn’t hire AJ Styles right now. I wouldn’t put him on the Shawn Michaels level, but the stuff that he can do in the ring, and as talented as he is, I believe the kid deserves a run in WWE. I’ve never even met him, but I think he’s bad-a**.”
Austin was then asked if WWE hasn’t hired Styles because of the “TNA stain,” and Austin believes that Styles being a former TNA star is hurting his chances of getting a job in WWE, but he also added that it shouldn’t, and he doesn’t know why WWE doesn’t sign more TNA talent when they become available because the WWE locker room is in need of more veterans.
“I think [him being a TNA guy] is part of why WWE hasn’t signed him. But I think, why not go out there and cherry-pick some of those guys? Because some of them can go. I mean, here’s the thing, if you look at the WWE roster right now, there’s still a very green talent-base, and I’m not saying this to disrespect anyone in the locker room, but it’s a very green locker room, and if you can bring in a couple of vets — AJ Styles has been around the horn for a long time.
“You look at some of the guys that have had success there; Sami Zayn, I mean he’s nearly a 15-year vet, Finn Balor 15 years, Kevin Owens 15 years, Seth Rollins 10 years… The guys who are getting over, are the guys with 10-plus years of experience. They’re new to the WWE system, but they’re not new to the business, so, hey, AJ Styles, here you go, welcome aboard.”
It’s hard to argue with Austin’s logic, and, due to the fact that the aforementioned names of Rollins, Zayn, Balor, and Owens have had so much success, WWE may be looking at bringing in a guy like AJ Styles if he becomes available.
In the past, WWE hasn’t been interested in bringing in guys who were established themselves in TNA. But, them bringing in Samoa Joe, who was one of the biggest TNA stars of all-time, could be a sign that things are changing in WWE.
[Image via Impact Wrestling]