AJ Styles is a leading name in WWE. Currently set for some time to heal from his injuries and spend time with his family, Styles is taking time away from the company for the first time since he joined back in 2016.
It was with that same dedication and more, that Styles worked for TNA or Impact Wrestling. However, according to Bruce Prichard, Dixie Carter and Impact treated AJ Styles badly, ignoring his contract -- which led to him falling out.
AJ Styles was a huge name in the world of wrestling long before he ever stepped foot in a WWE ring. He was one of the 'TNA Originals' and made himself more famous when he fell out with the company and went to NJPW.
At Royal Rumble 2016, AJ Styles shocked the world as he made his debut in WWE.
Over the last few years since 2016, AJ Styles has helped change the entire scene of WWE's main roster. There have been very few other wrestlers who have made as much of an impact in WWE as Styles has.
On the latest episode of his podcast, Something to Wrestle with, Bruce Prichard talked about how AJ Styles fell out with Impact Wrestling in his last year with the company. Prichard said that with a year left of Styles' contract, Prichard had wanted to sign him for a couple more years. However, Dixie Carter did not agree with the offer, with the feeling being that it would be easier to sign him for less money when there was less time on his contract.
"So, AJ, a year in advance of his contract coming up, the rollover dates coming up, I had gone to AJ and I had gone to his agent, and I said, ‘Hey, I’d like to sign him up for another couple of years,’ and they balked at the offer. And we went back and forth a little bit. We came to an agreement on kind of a downside guarantee that AJ could live with. When I took that back, the feeling was, ‘Why are we doing this now? I feel that if we can get closer–‘ and this was Dixie, ‘I feel if we can get closer to the time of AJ’s contract that we can get him for less than that. I can’t commit that much to him.’" - h/t 411Mania
With Dixie unwilling to sign AJ Styles, Bruce Prichard kept pushing to sign him, saying that Styles alone would help them to make that money back. His pleas fell on deaf ears.
"I said, ‘But here’s the deal. If we commit this much to him right now, he can make more than that, but he isn’t going to come for less. He’s not going to stay for less. And this is a good deal for the company, and it’s a good deal for AJ.’ And AJ was cool with it. Then, I basically had to pull the offer back. It went on. Time went on. I said, ‘We gotta get AJ. AJ’s six months away. We need to sign AJ.’ They said, ‘We’ll wait. We’ll wait. We’ll wait.’" - h/t 411Mania
As a result of this entire situation, AJ Styles left the company where he had worked from the day that it had been founded. Fortunately for him, this led to one of the best stretches of his career, working in New Japan as the leader of the Bullet Club before coming to WWE.
The loss of AJ Styles hurt Impact Wrestling far more than it hurt Styles. When he returns from his time away from WWE, Styles will continue to be one of the most successful stars on the roster.