“Best for business” storyline rip-offs aside, AJ Styles who is arguably the face of TNA Wrestling, has yet to re-sign with the promotion and his short term contract extension is about to expire. In other words he may be done with the company.
Of course we should always be skeptical, just because he hasn’t publicly re-signed doesn’t mean they don’t have some kind of verbal agreement worked out that plays in to his current storyline with Dixie Carter. However the main problem with this theory is that in the storyline his contract has already expired, so it would be illogical for it to re-expire, unless they don’t really care about continuity and just want to rile up the internet for a “we got one over on you” cliché.
The speculation is that with all the recent budget cuts Styles was low-balled back in September and teased jumping to WWE, possibly for leverage. He then signed a 3 month contract extension, giving both sides a chance to work things out, but so far it doesn’t look like they have.
There are mixed opinions whether WWE is an option for the Phenomenal One, there are only so many spots on the card and no matter who you are you have to spend at least a few months in developmental with rubbish pay. The question isn’t whether WWE would consider signing him, I wrote back in August:
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.
– AJ Styles To WWE? It’s Now Or Never
The real question is would WWE pay him what he wants and give him credit for his accomplishments? Or would he have to muscle his way through developmental, play politics, and wait years before getting a decent salary?
If he’s leaving TNA due to money, then he’s not going to get that money in WWE, at least not right away.
The most likely scenario is that he gets a good year or two as the returning Indy darling, while doing international dates. Perhaps then TNA will be back in a position to pay him what he deserves.
As for TNA, losing Styles is another blow to their identity. Who really is best for business?