WWE News: Former Superstar says he got backstage heat for trying to get AJ Styles hired
- Where would AJ be today if he had accepted WWE's offer?
What's the story?
Helms stated that back in 2002, he got backstage heat for trying to put over AJ Styles.
In case you didn't know...
After WCW folded, AJ Styles wrestled in a bunch of matches for WWE, and was offered a developmental contract by the company. Styles eventually refused the offer as the contract would have required him to move to Cincinnati, and interfere with his wife's college plans.
Styles went on to wrestle for several small-time promotions and ultimately landed a contract with Impact Wrestling, formerly known as Total Nonstop Action. After becoming a megastar in TNA, Styles wrestled for NJPW and was signed by WWE in 2016. In the past three years, Styles has gone on to become one of the biggest Superstars in recent history, and has won the WWE Title on two occasions.
The heart of the matter
While talking to Jeffrey Harris, Helms shared a story of how he received backstage heat after trying to help AJ Styles secure a WWE contract. In early 2002, Helms and Styles competed in a match in WWE when the latter wasn't a globally recognised Superstar.
According to Helms, he was impressed with Styles' ring work, and wanted AJ to get hired by WWE. Helms let Styles perform the Shooting Star Press and several Brainbuster moves on him.
Because I was already an established character, of course AJ was an unknown at the time. But I wanted AJ to get hired, because I thought AJ was fantastic back then.
But I let him do a lot, I let him do the shooting star [press] and all the brainbusters, and all this stuff. And after the match, I got a little heat for letting him do so much.
AJ Styles is currently one of the most popular Superstars on the Raw brand, and is on a quest to win the Universal Title somewhere down the line.
What would have happened if WWE had secured Styles back in 2002?