Former TNA Impact Wrestling Grand Slam Champion and current Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling star "The Phenomenal" A.J. Styles recently spoke to The Baltimore Sun:
What have the past few months since you left TNA been like for you?
I have to tell you, man, I've been pleasantly surprised at all the things that have opened up for me. I realized that all the independents are alive and well. I've been able to wrestle all these guys, and have some dream matches in the fans eyes. It's been awesome to work for Ring of Honor again. I also recently had the opportunity to start working with New Japan. So 2014 is becoming an awesome year for me.
There are so many rumors flying around about TNA, both financially and just backstage. What do you think the state of TNA is right now?
You know, I really don't know. I know they've made a lot of cuts. That must mean they're not doing so well. Sting gone, Hogan gone, myself gone, and I'm sure we're going to see more cuts soon. From what I've heard and been told, it's been horribly mismanaged as a company. I don't know if they're going out of business. But they're definitely doing things that make people think they're going out of business. And I hope they don't. I hope TNA doesn't go out of business because I have a lot of good friends that work there and deserve to be in the national spotlight. My hope is that they never go out of business.
Speaking of friends, TNA made a surprising move last week when Eric Young won the TNA title. What are your thoughts on that?
I love it, man. Eric is a top talent. A lot of people think that he's just a comedian. The guy can WRESTLE. He's really good and he's overlooked. He's one of the most entertaining guys there. He has his own show, and it's based on him. It's him going out and doing stuff. So he knows what he's doing and he should have had something good like this happen to him a long time ago.
Is pretty much the door closed there, or if they come around, do you think you'd make your way back?
I tried to leave the door open. I haven't buried the company. Like I said, I have friends there who do well, so I'm not going to do that. But I don't know if I'll ever go back, and it's definitely not going to be any time soon. And from what one of their higher ups said, it will be “Only if there's space available for AJ Styles.” So I guess there might not be room for me, according to him.
For a while the pecking order in pro wrestling has clearly been WWE, then TNA second, and Ring of Honor has been a clear-cut No. 3. Recently, though, TNA has seemed to be on the decline, and Jeff Jarrett officially announced his new wrestling promotion, which seems to have a TV deal attached, though we don't know what it will be right now. You've worked with and for Jarrett, how do you think that's going to change that landscape?
It's nuts to think that we could have four major wrestling promotions in the United States. Jeff's very smart, there's no doubt about it. He knows what he's doing, and always has a backup plan. He took TNA from nothing and turned it into something that's still around 12 years later. That's pretty darn good. That's an accomplishment right there. I trust Jeff. I trust him to put on something good, and something that people will watch.
Do you think you might consider Global Force Wrestling if a door opened up for you?
Sure, this is what I do. This is my job.
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