AJ Styles, having already wrestled throughout the world in many major promotions, finally joined WWE in 2016, debuting in that year’s Royal Rumble match. This was at the same time his long-time friends, and former teammates in Bullet Club in NJPW, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, also signed with the company.
When their contracts came up in 2019, there were rumours that the Styles, Gallows, and Anderson might leave WWE to join AEW for the first episode of Dynamite, a plan that Matt Jackson of the Young Bucks has alluded to in the past. Ultimately, all three signed new contracts that year. Now, in an interview with Bleacher Report, the ‘Phenomenal One’ has revealed that he wasn’t close to parting ways with WWE at the time.
“Like I said, this is a business. I’m going to go where business is best for AJ Styles. I like WWE. I like everything about it. And I know it. I’m used to it. I don’t want to leave. This is a business, though. This is what we do for a living. Was it close? I wouldn’t say it was close for me. Like I said, I want to be in WWE.
While the former two-time WWE Champion’s career has flourished under the WWE banner, Gallows and Anderson did not fare so well, being released from the company as part of wider COVID-19 related cutbacks only a few months after signing their new deals. Since then, have debuted in IMPACT Wrestling, where they are now known as the Good Brothers and are the current tag team champions. Recently, they were part of the Bullet Club reunion which took place on AEW Dynamite alongside Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks.
During the interview, Styles opened up about how angry he was with the release of Gallows and Anderson when it happened, but says he is happy for how things have turned out for them now.
“The situation with Gallows and Anderson, you know, with everything that’s going on, they should have went ahead and went that route when their second contracts came around. But hindsight is 20/20. You’ve read the dirt sheets and whatnot, and you know how pissed I was about the whole situation. Not at them, but at the situation. I think they’re happier doing what they’re doing now. If that’s the case, then I’m happy for them and, like I said, everything happens for a reason.”
Full interview: Bleacher Report
WWE Untold: AJ Styles’ Royal Rumble Debut is now available on the WWE Network.