McMahon told Styles he wished he hired him 10 years sooner
AJ Styles earned his name and fame at TNA. He would eventually end up at WWE but not before making a few stops at Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. His work outside the WWE made him a favorite among wrestling fans and his popularity was at full display on his debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble.
Styles has since taken the WWE Universe by storm. Many have moved from different promotions to the WWE but no one has found success like the Phenomenal One. He very quickly became the WWE Champion and was even told by Vince McMahon that he wished he would have hired him sooner.
Vince McMahon told AJ Styles he regrets not signing him to WWE a decade earlier
“The gauge was when he came out at the Royal Rumble, and the fans were so excited it was AJ Styles,” Kurt Angle said on the Kurt Angle Show. “You know, a lot of WWE fans feel like, or a lot of WWE personalities don’t think that WWE fans watch TNA Wrestling. I think they do because they knew exactly who AJ was, and I think Vince saw the reactions and went, ‘Wow, this guy is a star already.’
“He hasn’t even been here, you know, this is his first day, and he’s a star. I think that he had to build a name for himself, and he did it right. It’s a shame that AJ ends up in the WWE when he is in his 40s.”
“You know Vince, I was told, Vince, when he met up with AJ after AJ won the World Title, Vince went to him and said, ‘I wish I would have hired you ten years ago,’ and that is that.
“That tells you exactly how Vince feels about AJ. AJ is a star. He is, you know, when he came in the WWE, at that particular time, he was the #1 top best wrestler in the world. The best performer. Just from a wrestling standpoint, he was the top guy.”