Pro Wrestling Since 1997


Leaving TNA

AJ Styles

Unless something changes over the next few days, AJ Styles will be leaving TNA for the first time since the company was founded in 2002 next week.

Styles’ current contract extension expires on 12/16, has confirmed. As of 12/17, he is a free agent and has already begun to accept independent bookings via his long-time agent Bill Behrens at

As has reported for months, Styles and TNA have been far apart on money. The two sides did not really begin negotiating until Styles’ last long-term deal was close to expiring and signed a two month extension in order to continue working together while they attempted to seal a new deal.

Unfortunately, the two sides just couldn’t make a deal happen. We have heard that it was a situation where TNA just wasn’t able to offer Styles what he had been earning and he, feeling correctly that he had been a big part of the heart and soul of the company, would not agree to take a lesser deal. The situation put both sides in between a rock and a hard place, leading to the breakdown between sides.

In a lot of ways, Styles’ exit has sent a bad signal to other TNA “originals” who have deals coming up as the message being sent is that the company, which has been cutting corners, will play hardball financially even at the cost of losing their own homegrown players. Styles was one of the company’s legitimate main eventers who had been been with the company as it evolved and matured, becoming the centerpiece for the X-Division before evolving into a legitimate main eventer. While he wasn’t the draw that Sting was during Sting’s heyday in WCW, Styles was very similar to Sting in that he was closely branded as a TNA star and as someone who was loyal to the company – just as Sting was when World Championship Wrestling existed.

Styles officially finished up with the company last week at the Impact tapings in Orlando, Florida with appearances for episodes that will air in early 2014.

Styles is already moving forward with outside projects. He has an autobiography set to be released in the first quarter of 2014 and will be making an appearance next year as part of a talking tour in the UK. Initial dates for that tour had been announced but the tour will be pushed back as Diamond Dallas Page had already scheduled a similar tour for the same time period and the decision was made that it wasn’t right to compete with something already scheduled.

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34 Responses

  1. Scott Grady says:

    So, your proof that a major media conglomerate buying a wrestling company guarantees success is a company that took died 13 years later and was only profitable for maybe a year? Once again, Viacom buying TNA doesn’t guarantee the company will turn around as is falsely believed. It’s about level of commitment to the company, who is put in charge of the day-to-day activities, the plans for the company, etc.

    Something tells me YOU didn’t read what I wrote. My point about the name change had to do with all of the talk that WWE would change his name, which Is a point I’m not arguing, and he would have no chance of getting anywhere. Well, I gave proof arguing against that using a former long reigning tag champ, the CURRENT US Champion, a guy that has gotten on old maneuver over, and the 2013 WWE Superstar of the Year. So, I guess it IS possible to succeed without the name you’d been using, which is my point about ANYONE that gets signed to WWE.

    Now, I’ll repeat what I said. I don’t think Styles signing with WWE is a wise decision. He’s 34 and no longer the guy that TNA was supposed to be built around back in ’02. WWE wants to put more of a long term investment into their new guys. Right now, that’s what NXT and the Performance Center is for. Unless he can get regular international work, TNA may be Styles’s only option.

  2. Mr. Anti-TNA says:

    @AJ Cooper Your points are delusional and how do you have time to write a novel everytime someone criticizes you? It’s all opinion and you talk as if Viacom buying TNA will turn them into the new WWE. You just like getting a reaction out of everyone.

  3. AJ Cooper says:

    Scott, the point is, WCW DID become a MAJOR success after it came under TBS, then Time Warner’s ownership. So, WCW DOES in fact prove my point.

    Now, the fact is, as I said, it would NOT be AJ Styles working for WWE. It would be a guy with some weird-sounding name probably working as a high-level jobber, or as a low-level mid-carder. If AJ signed with TNA, he’d NEVER make it ANYWHERE near the WWE main event scene. The fact is, NO main event talent from TNA has EVER become main event talent for WWE. In fact, look at what happened to Frankie Kazarian, a TNA main event talent. He NEVER was ANYWHERE near the “main event” scene in WWE, nor was he even in WWE for that long.

    Now, as far as the possibility of AJ getting a new contract, I would think that Janice, Ditzy Dixie’s mom, would be smarter, business-wise, than her ditzy daughter, as far making sure AJ isn’t gone from TNA for long. Janice knows that AJ, along with Jarrett, Abyss, Storm, & all the other talent that’s been there since day one, are the heart & soul of TNA & I don’t think she’s stupid enough to do something that would send a message to TNA’s most-established original talent, telling them that they mean nothing to the company. So, I’m predicting that IF AJ does actually leave TNA, he won’t be gone for long.

    @Mr. Anti-Brains

    You say I’m delusional, yet YOU are with the crowd that thinks the ONLY option for the future of TNA is either being bought out by WWE or dying off. People like you have been predicting TNA’s death for 11 years, and you’ve been wrong for 11 years.

    Now, as far as my opinion concerning TNA & Viacom, all I’ve stated is that should it come down to Viacom buying TNA, it would put TNA in a much better situation than what TNA’s in right now. It would put them in a much better situation to compete against WWE.

    Oh, and you call me delusional, yet you use the name “Mr. Anti-TNA”. Listen, I might not always like WWE, but I would NEVER go soo far as to start using the name “Mr. Anti-WWE”. For you to use such a name shows that it is in fact YOU who is the most delusional one here.

  4. Scott Grady says:

    WCW was a money loser for more than 95% of the time. Profiting in that less than %5 is success? If this was a restaurant, Gordon Ramsey would’ve been calling Jim Herd “a stupid, f*cking donkey.”

    Now, it appears you’re not getting something. So, I’m going to repeat what I’ve been saying but with a small change. I don’t think ALLEN JONES signing with WWE is a wise decision. Age…no longer the guy TNA was supposed to be built around…WWE looking to put a long term investment into new guys…reason for NXT & Performance Center. Hopefully, that will clear up the problem you’re having on that. When it comes to part about TNA main eventers, there’s something you seem to forget. According to reports, at least 95%(gonna lowball on this)of those “main eventers” who left TNA for WWE did so because they didn’t feel TNA was pushing them. Kid Kash, who I guess you consider a TNA “main eventer”, repeatedly ran down AJ and even said a few things about AMW.

  5. Mr. Anti-TNA says:

    Nobody predicted they would go out of business for 11 years. Selling the company, going on the road and sucking at that, posting all time low ratings in the last 3 months all are legit reasons to think a company will go under.

  6. AJ Cooper says:


    The thing is, WCW didn’t become mainstream until after it was purchased by Turner Broadcasting System & started having a television show, WCW Monday Nitro, broadcast on TNT. So, I’d say that that was some bit of success on WCW’s part. Now, I’d like to see the info/data that backs up your claim about WCW being a money loser 95% of the time.

    As far as the AJ thing, I was responding to those who said that it’d be better off for AJ to go to WWE. I’m sorry if I implied that that comment came from you.

    @Mr. Anti-Brains

    Well then, apparently, either your memory is just as bad as mine, or maybe you’re being intentionally ignorant. I’m not sure which one. But, if you were to look at wrestling sites & wrestling-based message boards from back around 2002 or 2003, ever since the company’s launch in 2002, people like you were saying the company wouldn’t survive. People like you were saying that they didn’t expect the company to survive past a year. Then, people like you continued saying that for EVERY YEAR AFTERWARDS, for the last 10 years. And, I’d be willing to bet you if WWE was in the same situation in the few years after leaving the NWA that TNA’s been in, WWE probably would have gotten just as low ratings as TNA has gotten.

  7. Mr. Anti-TNA says:

    @AJ Cooper Sorry I haven’t spent the past 12 years of my life on wrestling sites every single day. See AJ Styles notes article from today. $300 a night company and storm roode and kazarian will leave too. Keep pumping into has beens like angle and sting

  8. Scott Grady says:

    It took 8 years after the purchase before they got known as more than the other company. Then, after about 2 years, the were back to being the other company. Three years later, Vince bought them. The funny part is what killed them was AOL/Time Warner, a major media conglomerate similar to Viacom. So, what killed WCW was an entity similar to what you claim will 100% absolutely turn TNA around. As for WCW losing money, there are countless interviews with former WCW employees saying that.

    As for Nitro, that was Eric Bischoff’s call. He was the one that pushed Turner to give WCW a show on Mondays against RAW. Not Jim Herd. Not Kip Alan Frey. Not Bill Watts. They were content with the 6:05 show on Saturday, the Sunday show at the same time, and syndication. They had the same resources at their disposal but didn’t use them and the execs at Turner weren’t pushing them for ideas. Like I said, a huge media conglomerate doesn’t guarantee success. It’s someone who knows how to use their resources effectively that can at least have a strong chance at success.

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