AJ Styles was the first ever X Division Champion. He is one half of the first ever Tag Team Champions. Styles has been in TNA since day one. We all love our originals and there is no wrestler that is more of a TNA Original than AJ Styles. Whenever we think of TNA, we think of AJ. He is the face of the company.
I think it is great that AJ Styles is now going to Ring of Honor. Ring of Honor Wrestling is the biggest independent promotion out there. If he can’t be in TNA, where else do you want him to go? Do you want him to go to WWE where he would most likely be a jobber or be put in NXT? I do not think that Ring of Honor is a problem because of people being able to see it. I am able to watch it every week. If you are not, you can easily watch Ring of Honor Wrestling on their official website.
AJ Styles was in Ring of Honor Wrestling from 2002-2006. Acquiring AJ Styles is the best thing that ROH can do. I have said before that if TNA would take my advice and retire some old stars such as Christopher Daniels and Abyss, ROH would take them in a snap. In my opinion, ROH has lost so much great talent in recent years. They have lost Tyler Black, Claudio Castagnoli, Chris Hero, Nigel McGuiness, Bryan Danielson, and El Generico. It seems that they have lost every big star that they had. Now, Nigel is retired and in charge of ROH on screen. They have Chris Hero back. Their biggest stars now are Adam Cole, Matt Taven, The Briscoe Brothers, and Kevin Steen. I am not against these stars. I am big fans of Adam Cole and Matt Taven. But ROH is not the same as it used to be. It needs a spark and AJ Styles just might give it that spark.
AJ needs money. Like all of us, we work for money. That is the main reason. The second reason is to have something productive to do and get the feeling of accomplishment. TNA was paying AJ to be the star of their company. Now, they asked him to take a significant pay cut. This was played off on screen with everyone knowing that Dixie and AJ were in contract negotiations. Everyone knew the situation. We all hoped that it would work out but it did not. AJ has to do what is best for him and his family. I do not blame him at all. It is not his fault he is not signed by TNA Wrestling anymore. It is TNA’s fault. If TNA wanted him so bad, they could find ways to have the money that AJ wants. They could fire Mr. Anderson for AJ Styles. If we are all honest, does anyone tune in to TNA to see Mr. Anderson? He is not bad for the company but I do not think he will ever have a loyal following. If TNA still wanted Styles, couldn’t they take away Jay Bradley, Rob Terry, Hernandez, Eric Young, and Zema Ion? What big importance do they have? Other than Zema Ion and Eric Young, we have not seen these men in months. Eric Young is sometimes used in a segment with Abyss/Joseph Park. Zema Ion is now only a DJ for the TNA Tag Team Champions BroMans.
In regards to how AJ was booked, he was booked horribly for a while. Never would you see in another wrestling company their top star go to the very bottom of the ladder. He was humiliated, thanks to the Claire Lynch story. Finally, he came back. He showed a dark side. He snapped. He was now back only for the guys who made the company what it is. He was sick of people coming down from up north just for a 2 year paid vacation. He was now going to fight for his band of brothers. He mentioned Jay Lethal, Jerry Lynn, Petey Williams, and Alex Shelley. He was tired of TNA Originals being released in favor of ex-WWE guys. He was also sick of MMA guys (Tito Ortiz, Rampage Jackson, King Mo) being brought in. Remember the night that AJ Styles joined the Main Event Mafia for one night? It wasn’t because of fans complaining about his new dark side. We, as fans, loved his new dark side persona. It was edgy. People could relate to it. We all get to a point where we snap and can take no more. That is what happened. He was now wrestling for himself, since he was one of the only TNA Originals left. He was now fighting for the band of brothers, the ones who made TNA what it was. The real reason AJ Styles joined the Main Event Mafia for one night is because Kurt Angle got arrested for a DWI. It was his fourth incident that involved alcohol in six years. I have much respect for Kurt Angle. His nickname in TNA is “the Cyborg.” Even though Kurt Angle is 45 years old, he still has intensity. He can still put on a great match. I do not think he is as great as he used to be but he can still put on an entertaining match with anyone. In my eyes, he should retire this year. He has nothing left to prove. He has been in professional wrestling for over 15 years. It is time.
Once again, before we rush to conclusions saying that AJ is crazy for not accepting less money to stay in TNA where he has been since the beginning, we need to remember that he is doing what he thinks is best. TNA has certainly changed over the years. Many ex-WWE stars have been in the limelight. TNA is not about the X Division anymore. It is not the alternative wrestling promotion. It used to differentiate itself by far from the WWE by using its X Division and Knockout Division. Now, the X Division Championship is just a backdrop for the ongoing breakup story of Champion Chris Sabin and girlfriend Velvet Sky. The Tag Team division looks done for. The BroMans have been TNA Tag Team Champions since Bound For Glory 2013. The only team that has since challenged them and looked like a threat was Gunner and James Storm. Now, they are no longer a tag team. Gunner is a heel with Storm staying a face. The BroMans have had no team to challenge for their titles. Therefore, we hardly ever see The BroMans or any mention of the Tag Team Championship.
Things have changed. Almost every star that started off in TNA in 2002 is gone. The Founder of TNA Jeff Jarrett just left the company. The company is surely undergoing a rebuilding year. It has to try to get its feet back on the ground after losing so much money during the Hogan/Bischoff Era. The man who is considered the John Cena of TNA is no longer in the company. There are people who think that is AJ Styles’ fault. People think that he should stay in the company that made him a star. What we all need to keep in mind is that TNA has different priorities. They do not want to have big plans for Styles. If you want to know where your heart is, check your money. Check where all of your money is going. With TNA wanting to cut Styles’ pay substantially, they are proving that they do not want him anymore. They are proving that they are taking him for granted.