One of the top superstars in WWE, multi-time champion AJ Styles has been a workhorse for the company since 2016. His career includes memorable matches against Samoa Joe, John Cena and even The Undertaker.
The 45-year old has teased his retirement on multiple occasions. Ideally, 50 is a suitable age for many veterans who plan to hang their boots in the future. A similar case is that of Rey Mysterio, who is currently at 48, helping Dominik in learning how to sail.
In this list, we will look at five directions for AJ Styles following his WWE retirement.
#5. Work in NXT
In January, AJ Styles feuded with up-and-coming superstar Grayson Waller. Their showdown was booked at NXT 2.0, where he thumped the youngster.
The two-time world champion revealed his post-retirement plans in a backstage interview after the event was over. Thrilled by the performances, he wanted to work with the young talent again and prepare them for their main roster breakthrough.
Speaking to Inside The Ropes, AJ admitted it was his idea to work in NXT in the first place.
“I wanted to make sure that guys and girls who are in NXT would be prepared to come up to WWE and do well. It’s not good for anybody if they get here on SmackDown or RAW, and like, that’s not what we wanted. We have to prepare them to give them when they get up here…that’s what we want.” (H/T WrestleZone)
The experience of The Phenomenal One would do wonders for the ambitions of NXT Superstars.
#4. Return to Impact Wrestling
After his release from WWE in 2002, AJ Styles had a decade-long run in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (aka Impact Wrestling) Be it his alliance with The Foursome or the unbelievable amount of championship victories, The Phenomenal One reigned supreme in Impact.
"Mr. TNA" eventually became one of the most sought-after superstars in professional wrestling. His success caught the eye of WWE, who signed him in 2016 after another memorable stint in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
AJ Styles left Impact because they decreased his salary. If the promotion negotiates for the better next time, it could find itself recruiting the veteran following his retirement from WWE. The Face That Runs the Place may play the role of an official or have a one-off with superstars like Josh Alexander.
#3. Sporadic appearances in WWE
Many WWE Legends, who consider themselves to be retired, have returned to the ring in the past few years. Edge and Goldberg are some examples. They have delivered multiple exciting matches and are even looking forward to continuing the same.
After his retirement, AJ Styles could return to the company for multiple one-offs. The Prince of Phenomenal is in excellent shape, which we hope to maintain in the coming years, so that WWE can deliver the dream matches that fans crave.
Anyone up for another AJ Styles versus John Cena?
#2. AJ Styles manages Omos
AJ’s most recent championship victory was alongside Omos in 2021. The unlikely dream team dethroned The New Day on the May 22 edition of RAW for the Tag Team Titles. However, the push of both superstars fizzled following their loss to RK-Bro at SummerSlam.
Unlike AJ Styles, The Giant from Nigeria has decades left in his wrestling career. He desperately needs something to renew his dominance in the WWE roster. A possible way is by being a disciple of his former partner-turned-mentor. Each of the superstars could even change character in the process as they have been in the same stale role for over two years.
The alliance scenario is not a shocker. Earlier, Omos played second fiddle to AJ Styles’ title dreams as a bodyguard. The roles will be reversed the next time they meet, with The Phenomenal helping the rookie with his aspirations.
#1. Reunion with The Original Club
Vince McMahon was adamant about keeping AJ Styles to himself. Giving the veteran a lucrative offer in March 2022, the former chairman debunked any thoughts and rumors regarding AJ making the shift to All Elite Wrestling.
While The Phenomenal One is thriving in WWE, his former partners Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson are struggling in New Japan Pro Wrestling. The Good Brothers have suffered multiple losses in the past week. Even their re-inclusion in The Bullet Club did not significantly impact their push.
Refueling his dominance in O.C., AJ Styles could make his much-awaited transition to NJPW once his time with WWE is done. He could act as a manager for Gallows and Anderson, reuniting "the official, the original, the only club that matters."
Watch The Phenomenal One talk about his match with The Undertaker.