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AJ Styles almost talks to TNA Wrestling again before heading to WWE

AJ Styles is a name synonymous with TNA Wrestling and vice versa. AJ won his first TNA title in August 2002 when he became NWA-TNA X Champion.

Over the next eleven years, AJ would become a six-time TNA

AJ Styles left the company in 2013 after AJ was low-balled and expected to take a pay cut to stay with the company. Instead, he gambled on himself and left TNA to test the waters in both Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he would become a two-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion and a member of the esteemed Bullet Club.

AJ Styles has opened up about almost signing with TNA instead of WWE in 2016.

“I mean, we went to meet them, so it was so close and we talked about numbers, of course nothing was signed… We signed something, but it wasn’t anything that had any value or importance, so it was pretty close.

I’m very grateful that things happened the way they did because we know now that they didn’t have the money to sign us back then either and we would have been right where we started.

(Source: SHAK Wrestling)

Full interview:

The “kind of signed something” AJ referred to above was agreeing to a formal deal with TNA management, but once his lawyer got involved, things changed. The reported plan was for AJ to return in January, and for Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to debut with AJ when their contracts with New Japan and the creative content of the story called for it.

Styles attorney Bill Beherens releases the following statement regarding AJ not signing with TNA:

“No contract was ever finalized or signed by the parties.

The fact that I would need to be involved in the contract process was known and understood by them prior to my involvement with TNA.

TNA and its primary attorney failed to timely present a contract that accurately reflects prior discussions. This raised major concerns related to past experiences. At that time and before there was other interest and other strong offers on the table and other discussions.

TNA was aware of other interests and various conflicts. TNA was aware that a final contract was needed. It created that contract and controlled that schedule. A lot of time passed too soon. Other things played a role.

No contract was ever signed with TNA.

By suggesting that I make a decision for my clients, I misunderstand my role and diminish the role each talent has in making their own decisions, and insult the talent in the process.”

After failing to finalize a contract with TNA and losing communication between the two parties, AJ Styles would debut for the WWE at the 2016 Royal Rumble.

AJ has made quite an impression on WWE, achieving accolades such as former three-time WWE United States Champion, former WWE Intercontinental Champion, former WWE Tag Team Champion (with Omos), and former two-time WWE Champion.

A major achievement that is often overlooked is that AJ Styles was the one Undertaker decided to have his retirement match against. The two fought in a Boneyard Match as part of WrestleMania 36. It was a cinematic match that took place outside the location of a farm.

AJ fought Cody Rhodes in a great match last weekend at Backlash in Lyon, France, for the WWE Undisputed Title. Styles fell short in the win, but looked great in the match. Styles was recently drafted to the Smackdown brand.

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