With the TNA contract of AJ Styles coming to an end in September according to PWInsider.com, it’s either now or never for the Phenomenal One to jump to WWE.
At 36 years old and arguably on the other side of his prime years, the window is certainly closing if Styles wants to reach the pinnacle of pro wrestling. Of course the keyword is “if”, as there’s no telling whether he aspires to make it to WWE. If he doesn’t, the question then becomes “why not?”
AJ has been with TNA since day one, he helped establish the unique X-Division brand when it was pushed as an alternative selling point, and he truly is their homegrown star. He’s won all the major gold, had great matches with everyone, and often to his own detriment put everybody over as well, including all the WWE cast-offs. There really isn’t much left for him to do, and if recent years are anything to go by the lack of creative direction for his character reflects this.
He’s no longer “the future of pro wrestling” or an exciting young guy, so they can’t realistically position him like that anymore. However his loner storyline is coming to an abrupt end this Thursday thanks to Kurt Angle’s rehab stint, and he may end up back in the same old directionless good guy role if they don’t plan things out in advance.
In the words of the legendary Bret Hart. “He’s spinning his tires in TNA. If he really wants to make it as the star that he is, he needs to jump the bush league and get to the big time… There’s a lot of talent out there that miss their opportunities, and I just hope that AJ Styles doesn’t waste his life in TNA.”
Bret Hart tells AJ Styles to jump to WWE:
If TNA respected AJ’s tenure, they’d have locked him in to a generous contract long before now. Yet with the company’s recent cash-flow problems after taking Impact on the road, they might seriously have the gall to low-ball him. If so it’s time for him to walk and prove what a name he really is.
Some may be cynical about how WWE would use Styles, or if they’d give him a fair shot at all, however it would be naive to think company officials don’t know who he is or how good he is. Styles had a very brief run with WCW, was offered a developmental spot after the company folded, and has had dark matches for WWE before TNA took off. Many of WWE’s current crop of talent have wrestled him and will clearly respect his work – guys like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, R-Truth, Booker T, Christian and Evan Bourne, to name but a few.
The ball should be in his court, and even if he walked and didn’t get a WWE deal TNA certainly aren’t going to blacklist him from a return down the line. That would be the equivalent of WWE never wanting to work with the Rock again.