AJ Styles Says New Contract Signed with WWE Will Be His Last

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2019

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 24: Smackdown women's champion Carmella and WWE'S world champion AJ Styles show their football skills at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 24, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)
Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

AJ Styles is beginning to look toward the end of his in-ring career after extending his WWE contract in March.

"I can tell you that this contract that I've signed is my last," Styles said in an interview with Newsweek's Phillip Martinez. "This is the perfect place for me to be. It's family-oriented, I have no problem taking my family to the shows. It's a PG product, which I enjoy. I'm in the best place I can be for my career."

The details of Styles' extension are unclear. Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp reported in November the former WWE champion was hoping to get a lighter travel schedule written into the terms of the contract. One of Sapp's sources also said the two sides were in preliminary negotiations over a three-year deal.

Because he continues to wrestle at such a high level, it's easy to forget Styles turns 42 on June 2. If he did in fact sign for three more years, then walking away from wrestling full time once the deal is up makes sense.

Shawn Michaels, for a comparison, lost his retirement match to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI when he was 44.

Some wrestlers want to prolong their careers as long as they can. The Undertaker turned 54 in March and he's slated to face off with Bill Goldberg at Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia on June 7. Ric Flair continued competing with TNA on a limited basis in 2011, when he was 62.

The fact that Styles has a relatively loose time frame for his eventual retirement is good because it allows him to pursue any storylines with WWE before it's too late. That might have been one reason the company moved him from SmackDown Live to Raw in the Superstar Shake-up.

Right out of the gate Styles challenged Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship, which amounted to a dream match in WWE.

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