AJ Styles Would Be Wise to Work Indy Circuit over Signing with WWE

Justin LaBarFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2013

Photo courtesy of ImpactWrestling.com

If you're an AJ Styles fan, you shouldn't want to see him sign with WWE.

Styles is no longer under contract with TNA. Reports from sources such as PWInsider.com via Wrestlezone.com, claim TNA just wasn't willing to continue paying him. By December 16, it would either be a new deal or no deal.

That date has come and Styles went on Facebook to address the situation. He explained how this is the end of big chapter in his life and the start of a new one that won't include TNA.

The reality of the situation is that Styles is better off touring the independent wrestling circuit around the world.

He's not going to make what he was making in TNA in either WWE or in indy wrestling. However, if he remains on the indy scene, he can still make good money off of the brand he's built around his name.

If he goes to WWE, he will be sent to NXT. Make no mistake about it, no matter how ridiculous it might seem to you, that's the WWE way. They don't care what you elsewhere. You have to earn your place in WWE. He would be sent to NXT and given a new name.

At the end of the day, he would blend in with being another Kofi Kingston. He would win a few matches and have a style in the ring that's over with the crowd. This would all be showcased briefly to make him seem like a credible person for heels to beat. That's what Kingston is. WWE puts The Miz or Alberto Del Rio against Kingston because they feel he's just good enough that the win should be something of importance and progression to the heel.

The only two guys who will likely be gone from TNA eventually and will walk right in to top of the line WWE treatment are Kurt Angle and Sting. Despite spending the last half of his career in TNA, Angle is still respected and looked at as a WWE guy. They made him. Sting is in a class of his own.

I've said this before, and fans will respond with reminding me how Booker T and Goldberg were WCW guys and WWE booked them with respect. That was a different time period. WWE had a different mindset. There was no hardcore system in place like there is today with their developmental program. There was no performance center.

Plus, don't forget, Booker T and Goldberg were guys who came from WCW. It's one thing to give some respect to guys who come from a company who nearly put Vince McMahon out of business. TNA's best days barely eclipse WCW's worse.

Styles won't make the guaranteed money he was making in TNA, but he can do well for a while on the indy wrestling scene. All of his travel will get paid for, and he will command several thousands for a booking fee immediately while his name has the most buzz. Even as time goes on, as long as he's putting on the quality of matches he's known for, he'll never make less than $1,000 per appearance.

That is not a quote from Styles or a promoter. That is me making an educated guess based on me having promoted wrestling-related events with talent and being booked on the indy scene myself. He also will make good money on his merchandise at these shows.

At 36, he's past the point of starting over, which is what WWE would ask of him and probably toss some humility in there to remind him where he's at. His name and body are still worth something, so he should cash in where he can make it while still being “The Phenomenal” AJ styles.

He will be able to say he had a profitable wrestling career earning the six figures and did it all without ever being on WWE television. Few will ever be able to say that in the history of the wrestling.

In fact, Styles might be the last.