Former TNA World Champion AJ Styles got the world talking about him when he left the company and went to work on the Independent scene. He ended up in New Japn Pro-Wrestling before too long where he has been since. While he has worked other Indy dates with places like Ring of Honor, NJPW has been his main home for the last year. However, there has been a lot of speculation regarding him coming to WWE to work with the NXT brand.
According to The Wrestling Observer, WWE and AJ Styles have yet to sit down and talk about any sort of deal as of November 9th. This means that rumors of him signing a deal are obviously untrue. Now, AJ’s deal with NJPW does expire at the first of the year, meaning he’s free to sign anywhere he wants. He can even go back to TNA if he chooses to.
There is a thought that WWE is taking a wait and see approach with AJ and trying to be positive that he can stay healthy and still look good once his deal is up. AJ has been hurt a bit this year, and there are thoughts that he will retire by next year. If these rumors are true, there is no wonder why WWE has yet to offer him any sort of deal. It is said that WWE does have interest, but of course it all comes down to AJ Styles.
AJ Styles clearly has all the ability in the world to work with NXT for a while. However, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for him to jump to the main roster. Many believe that AJ would work the NXT schedule as the travel is much lighter than that of the main roster. He would most likely be very willing to work there to both say he worked for WWE and have a good end to his career working with some of the best talent in the world that he has yet to face.
WWE is considering the idea of making the NXT brand a full traveling show on a weekly basis like they do with WWE RAW and WWE SmackDown by 2017. That means in 2016, they will boost up their tour schedule. While it won’t be anything like the main roster even still, they will most likely work a good bit of the time. Meanwhile it is thought that WWE will send some talent to WWN, most likely under the Evolve banner to work and get better.
This very well could mean the end of the NXT/Full Sail partnership by 2017, which was never going to be a thing that lasted forever. It was simply a step, just like WCW working out of Disney or TNA working out of Universal. Well, scratch that last one.
WWE wants to have bodies in by next year, especially one’s who can help fill their shows on the road for both television and live events. There is a thought that WWE might even get NXT on normal television and off the WWE Network by 2017 as well, as many networks have expressed interest in bringing them on. However, it is uncertain if WWE wants to do this as NXT is a big reason for many WWE fans to even have the WWE Network along with the WWE PPVs and library.
We will have to see what comes from NXT within the next year or two, but one thing is without a doubt: WWE needs people, and they do want AJ Styles, as it appears they have admiration for his work. The issues are the uncertainty behind him and whether he’d be willing to come in for a bit less than he worked for in NJPW, as WWE won’t be paying him massive money to sign, He would most likely get a deal similar to Samoa Joe’s, which was respectable, but obviously nothing life changing.
[Image via New Japan Pro-Wrestling]