AJ Styles Recalls Almost Re-Signing With TNA In 2016

5/8/2024 2:20 PM

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AJ Styles Recalls Almost Re-Signing With TNA In 2016

AJ Styles Recalls Almost Re-Signing With TNA In 2016

May 8, 2024 2:20 PM
AJ Styles Recalls Almost Re-Signing With TNA In 2016
WWE News

AJ Styles’ euphoric WWE debut in the Royal Rumble match almost wasn’t to be…

AJ Styles almost returned to TNA in 2016 - and he would’ve brought The Club with him.

The once-Ace of TNA opened up on the news during a new interview with SHAK Wrestling. Serving as a pillar of the hopeful WWE competitor between 2002 and 2013 where, amidst a mountain of behind-the-scenes issues, he unceremoniously departed the promotion, Styles’ return three years thereafter would have seen him joined by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, his then-partners in Bullet Club. AJ told SHAK Wrestling:

"I mean, we went and met with them, so it was that close and we talked about numbers, of course nothing was signed. We kind of signed something but it wasn't anything that had any value or importance, so it was pretty close. I'm very thankful that things happened the way that they did because we now know they didn't have the money back then either to have signed us and we'd be right where we started."

The December 5, 2013 TNA tapings marked AJ Styles’ last contracted date with the organisation; there, he dropped the TNA World Championship, officially, to Magnus - coincidentally, how Styles’ on-screen boss as SmackDown General Manager, Nick Aldis. Long-time TNA President Dixie Carter had declared the title vacant after Styles, who won the title in October, walked out of TNA, with a tournament set up to crown a succeeding champion.

AJ Styles moved to wrestle predominantly for New Japan Pro-Wrestling overseas and Ring of Honor in North America before, in a heart-pounding Royal Rumble moment, he entered the 2016 bout, joining WWE for the first time in his career.

Why AJ Styles Left TNA, Explained

Professional wrestlers departing TNA on bad terms isn’t exactly breaking news, but it was when it came to AJ Styles. Styles was considered the company’s top star for years, even when the roster was bolstered by ex-WWE and WCW staffers galore like Sting, Kurt Angle, and Mick Foley.

December 8, 2013 - one day removed from what would be Styles’ final match in the company - brought news that contract negotiations between AJ and TNA had “broken down” and that he’d be a free agent effective December 17. Per AJ, his reason for leaving stemmed from TNA requesting he take a 60% paycut.

AJ Styles also recently revealed the one signature move of his that is officially retired.

H/T to Wrestling Inc.