As documented by Wrestling Inc, AJ Styles confirmed during his latest Twitch stream that he had talks with AEW officials last year. While he signed a new contract with WWE in the end, the Friday Night SmackDown superstar revealed that he was open to joining the rival promotion.
According to Styles, he approached it from a business perspective. His WWE deal was expiring, and he wanted to keep his options open and ensure that he received the best offer.
The superstar said that The Young Bucks — who are two of AEW’s executive vice presidents — are his friends, and they had some conversations about bringing him in.
Styles explained that the discussions never got to the point where they negotiated a financial package. This may have bolstered his decision to remain where he is. However, they did have some talks about their creative vision for the star.
As noted by Sportskeeda, the Young Bucks discussed their plans for Styles during a recent interview. The plan was to bring Styles, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson in for a Madison Square Garden show. All three performers were teammates of The Young Bucks in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and they were going to play into their history.
The angle would have involved the trio jumping the guard rail and reuniting with their old friends, suggesting that a Bullet Club reunion was on the cards. Then Styles, Gallows and Anderson would have viciously attacked their former stablemates to set up a feud.
As the Sportskeeda report highlighted, Styles said that AEW’s interest helped him get a better offer from Vince McMahon’s promotion, which was too good to turn down. However, the veteran superstar hasn’t ruled out the possibility of joining the rival company at a later date.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Styles confirmed that he has a lot of friends in the opposition company. While he plans on retiring after his current contract expires, he did say that the “never say never” concept applies to him.
Styles isn’t the only veteran who chose to stay with his current employer after being linked with a move to the opposition. Earlier this week, Jeff Hardy confirmed that he’d signed an extension with McMahon’s sports entertainment corporation, which ended the rumors that stated he’s unhappy in WWE.
Some fans and pundits speculated that he’d jump ship to be with his brother Matt Hardy after his deal expired this year.