What's the story?
While talking about it, he revealed details about the contract negotiations and his thoughts regarding the company's strategy, as well as how he felt about having to leave.
In case you didn't know...
AJ Styles is currently the WWE Champion and has spent a large portion of his time in the company holding the belt. To any casual onlooker, he may appear to be a staple of the company, and he is, however, it is not WWE where Styles grew to become the star that he is today.
From the very first episode of TNA, AJ Styles was a large part of the company. He would hold two of the company's major championships within three weeks of starting. He forged a huge career in the company, taking part in some of their best feuds, and being involved in some of their best matches. His feud with Samoa Joe, with whom coincidentally he is in a feud with now in WWE, was the stuff of legend in TNA.
Unfortunately, in 2013, his contract negotiations with the company fell apart, and in a move that startled and shocked many, AJ Styles, a wrestler many considered to be a face of the company, left TNA.
The heart of the matter
During the interview, AJ Styles talked about his contract negotiations. He was asked if it was true that the company had offered him a contract with a 60% pay cut towards the end of his tenure. AJ said that the offer he had received was with an even bigger pay cut than 60%, something that did not make sense to him, having wrestled in the company for 11 years, and helped them to get where they were.
"I think that saying 60% is being generous, to be honest with you. That's kinda crazy when that's the first offer you know like, 'wait what! That doesn't make any sense! I've worked here for 11 years and hard for 11 years. I haven't gotten less popular here in TNA, in fact gotten more popular, especially in the last year, so I don't know what's going on.'"
He talked about the fact that Hogan's big money deal falling through had resulted in the company giving pay cuts to the regular wrestlers who worked hard, saying that it was not fair to them. He talked about people who had said that he should have stayed, saying that he was a family man, and needed to do what was best for them. He said that he was 'not about to take a pay cut' after paying so much to his agent and paying to be on the road, as well as paying his own taxes.
"I am a family man. That's my job, and my job is to take care of them. You don't know how much I made, or how less I made. But if you are going to take a pay cut at you're job, I'm gonna take a pay cut at my job. But think about that! Because you've got mouths to feed."
He said he was not responsible for the fact that TNA had mismanaged their money, and talked passionately about getting to where he was by sheer hard work, blood, sweat, and tears.
AJ Styles is set to take on Samoa Joe at Super Show-Down on the 6th of October, where he will defend his WWE Championship.
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