We’re getting close to the time of year where several WWE performers are ready to negotiate new contracts, and one of those wrestlers is former WWE Champion AJ Styles. Originally, Styles was signed to a three-year deal. He first made is debut in the WWE at the Royal Rumble event, which takes place in January.
According to Fightful, part of the negotiation process between AJ Styles and WWE is the quantity of dates Styles would work. The outlet confirmed with two sources that the former champion is currently in the negotiation process and that he’s looking to work a reduced schedule so he can spend more time with his family.
The report, in which Fightful says it spoke to two sources, indicated that AJ is looking for a schedule more like Randy Orton, where he would make TV appearances while working fewer house shows (or live events, as WWE tends to call them). Fightful didn’t indicate whether the WWE is likely to agree to these terms with Styles.
In terms of Smackdown Live, Styles is one of the biggest stars, and him appearing at fewer house shows does seem like it would negatively impact tickets sales for events, especially with the aforementioned Randy Orton not making many appearances.
One of the sources stated that AJ Styles and WWE are discussing another three-year deal, meaning the former WWE champion is looking to stick around with the company for an extended period of time. While the 41-year-old performer appears to be looking for a longterm deal, only time will tell if WWE is willing to offer him a deal like that.
Of course, should Styles decide not to re-sign with the WWE, he will have no shortage of options on the independent scene. New Japan would likely love to have him back, and fans would most certainly enjoy seeing matches between Styles and performers like Kenny Omega, Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi, and Cody Rhodes.
The thing about being a real Champion, a reigning, DEFENDING champion is that any day someone can beat you. But holding the title is more than just wins and losses, it’s about who you are as a man.— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) November 14, 2018
Daniel showed us that last night.
And the receipt is coming. #SDLive pic.twitter.com/m99WvL1JpJ
Apparently, AJ Styles was the one who advocated dropping the WWE Championship to Daniel Bryan because of the amount of time he’s had to spend away from his family as champion. Not having the title should allow AJ to have slightly fewer responsibilities, which will give him more time to be home between televised and live events.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of contract Styles is able to negotiate, especially with WWE signing much larger TV rights deals for both Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Live and the controversial paydays WWE has received from its deal with Saudi Arabia.