AJ Styles signed a temporary contract with TNA Impact Wrestling when his original contract expired and then he won the TNA World Championship. The company has been running an angle where he has been the renegade champion since then, but according to PWInsider on Dec. 8, the two sides couldn’t agree on a new contract and AJ Styles will leave TNA Impact Wrestling.
Styles has been touring around the world, promoting the company while defending his title in Mexico, Japan and the U.K. Meanwhile, in TNA Impact Wrestling, Dixie Carter stripped him of his title and scheduled a tournament to determine a new champion.
Because the company pre-tapes all their shows in advance, “TNA Impact Wrestling” has been recorded through the early part of January, meaning the TNA World Championship tournament winner has already been decided and the final appearance of AJ Styles in TNA has already been taped.
Now, AJ Styles is leaving TNA Impact Wrestling for the first time since the company began operating over a decade ago. This also sends out a disturbing message to other TNA original stars that no one is safe unless they take a crippling pay cut when their contracts come up for renewal. Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, James Storm and Bobby Roode are among those still remaining who may end up taking pay cuts or leaving when the time comes.
AJ Styles has since contacted Ring of Honor Wrestling about a return there. Ring of Honor and TNA Impact Wrestling started out at the same time, and Styles wrestled in both until TNA demanded exclusivity from all wrestlers. Other than a ROH return, he has also received interest from Japan as well as indies from around the United States.