Jeff Jarrett has revealed that AJ Styles almost completed a sensational return to IMPACT Wrestling before signing with WWE in 2016.
During his 11 year stay in IMPACT Wrestling, AJ Styles cemented himself as one of the premiere wrestlers on the planet. A reputation he went on to solidify in Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling where he formed part of the Bullet Club.
This level of sustained success meant that once it became clear that Styles wanted to move on from New Japan, WWE were at the front of the queue to sign the star. The Phenomenal One subsequently put pen to paper with WWE in January 2016, before debuting at the Royal Rumble.
Speaking on his podcast, My World, available via AdFreeShows, Jeff Jarrett who worked extensively alongside Styles in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, reflected on his departure from the company in 2013. Jarrett explained that despite turmoil behind the scenes, Styles wanted to re-sign, but was effectively pushed out of the door.
“AJ’s money was getting cut. They wanted to cut AJ’s money but not dates. He said, ‘If you cut my money, I’m cutting my dates.’ It was not just AJ’s contract. It was everybody’s. He was a complete, utter mess.”
“AJ was so willing to commit to the product that he was willing to re-sign,” Jarrett continued.
“I found this out later. They said some awful things and had devalued AJ. They basically forced AJ against his will to leave. That’s how committed AJ Styles was to the brand. He was TNA through and through. He had to be essentially forced out.”
Incredibly, despite this, Jarrett explained that the former World Champion almost re-joined IMPACT before signing with WWE.
“Road Dogg was very instrumental in bringing AJ into WWE because of his position at the time with the company,” he revealed.
“AJ was such a tried and true, and committed to his core. He was going to go back to IMPACT with Doc and Karl before he signed with WWE. He was that committed to the brand.”
It was recently announced that Jeff Jarrett has returned to WWE, where he has assumed the role of “Senior Vice President of Live Events.”
H/t to WrestlingNewsCo for the transcription.