In 2012, AJ Styles made the decision to leave TNA to head to New Japan Pro Wrestling and it is a decision he did not regret one bit. The former multi-time TNA Champion spoke on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast during WrestleMania weekend. AJ Styles has always felt that during his time in TNA he had a chip on his shoulder right up to the point he left.
No Tears for TNA
During the interview Styles was asked about TNA and this was his reply “I didn't shed one tear when I left TNA. I was very emotional when I left New Japan. He says his immense respect for New Japan helped him make up his mind that it was time to leave TNA”. It just goes to show how much AJ enjoyed his time in Japan between 2012-2016 where his was part of the “Bullet Club”.
New Japan loses huge names
Then in 2016, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows all put in their notice they were leaving New Japan and AJ said “he felt awful” that all of these talented superstars were leaving at once. When speaking about NJPW AJ had the following to say “I had nothing but respect for them. And the respect they showed me, I can't express how much that meant to me”.
Styles to WWE
Styles' Wrestle Kingdom 10 match against Shinsuke Nakamura was supposedly his last as it was reported that Styles had given his notice to NJPW on the morning of January 4, announcing that he was leaving the promotion and signing with WWE. The following week it appeared as if the rumors were true as the “Bullet Club” turned on AJ and Kenny Omega became new leader of the infamous faction.
AJ spoke about being offered a developmental deal with WWE which he had to turn down at the time as it was inconvenient for what was happening with his family. Then 14 years after WWE offered him the developmental deal, AJ Styles finally signed with WWE as on January 20, 2016, it was confirmed that he had signed.
Since joining with WWE AJ Styles has been one on hell of a journey from debuting at Royal Rumble to having his first match at WrestleMania to becoming #1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WWE Payback.
Below is the full interview with Sam Roberts & Katie Linendoll