AJ Styles on AEW Contract Talks; Miro Praises AEW; Renee Young-Jon Moxley

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2020

Photo credit: WWE.com.

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Styles Had Contract Talks with AEW

AJ Styles signed a new contract with WWE last year, but not before having some discussions with WWE's main competitor—AEW.

During his Twitch stream (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Austin Lee), The Phenomenal One confirmed that talks were had with AEW when his previous contract was set to expire: "Yeah, there were talks. Look, it's a business. My contract in WWE was going to expire, and there were talks happening."

Styles added: "The [Young] Bucks are my buddies. We never discussed money or anything, but there were talks about coming in. Again, it's all business."

During a recent appearance on Talk'n Shop with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Sai Mohan), Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks suggested that AEW was trying to sign Styles, Gallows and Anderson at the same time, with the goal of debuting them together on the first episode of AEW Dynamite.

That didn't come to fruition, as all three wrestlers re-signed with WWE. Gallows and Anderson were released by WWE in April as part of budget cuts, however, and they have since joined Impact Wrestling.

Meanwhile, Styles remains in WWE where he is among the top heels on SmackDown and is currently involved in an Intercontinental Championship feud with both Jeff Hardy and Sami Zayn.

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Signing with AEW could still be a possibility for Styles one day, but the 43-year-old veteran has made it clear that he wants to retire from in-ring competition once his WWE contract expires.

Miro Talks Up AEW

Miro, who formerly competed as Rusev in WWE, made his AEW debut on last week's episode of Dynamite as Kip Sabian's best man.

The native of Bulgaria cut a passionate and heartfelt promo about his frustrations in WWE and his excitement over being able to spread his wings in AEW.

During an appearance on Busted Open Radio (h/t Lee), Miro expressed his opinion that AEW is the best wrestling promotion in the world and explained why:

"Ever since AEW formed, I started watching it and I was so fascinated by it. There are so many reasons why I was fascinated, but it didn't sink into my head until I got there and I was like, 'Wow!' It just blew my mind. I kind of have an epiphany in professional wrestling: I was just into this bubble and at the same style for ten years, and everything outside was like, 'Well, that makes no sense.' You're just pointing fingers, but now, I'm on the outside looking and I finally understand why AEW is the best. AEW gives you every single style around the world, and when they invite you to come to AEW, they don't invite you and tell you, 'Hey, come and change your style to what we want.' No, you come and show your style, doing whatever you're coming from.

"Luchadores come and they bring you lucha libre, instead of people with a strong style, they come in and do a strong style. They don't have to be a style that a certain promotion wants. The old bubble is like boxing. AEW is like MMA. We have all styles combining into one and in one show. You'll see every single thing under the sun. You're not just going to see boxing, you're going to see all the martial arts. That's why I love AEW; that's why I cannot wait to get in the ring."

It has long been said that when wrestlers sign with WWE, they have to adapt to the "WWE style" of wrestling. That has evolved over the years as the performers have gotten more athletic and the roster has gotten more diverse, but there is little doubt that the WWE style differs from others in wrestling.

WWE tends to be a bit slower paced with an emphasis on selling. That appeals to a portion of wrestling fans, while the other portion wants more fast-paced action and feats of athleticism.

AEW tends to focus on the latter more, which is akin to the independent style of wrestling. That comes as little surprise since much of AEW's roster came from the indies.

The popular narrative seems to be that AEW allows wrestlers to be themselves while WWE asks them to conform. Assuming that is true, it makes sense that Miro and some of the other performers who have come to AEW from WWE are thrilled at the prospect of doing what they want to do.

Young on Whether Moxley Impacted Her WWE Career

Renee Young departed WWE last month after eight years with the company, and she has had plenty to say about her time in WWE ever since.

During an appearance on Sunday Night's Main Event (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Ross Kelly) this week, Young specifically talked about whether her standing in WWE changed after her husband, Jon Moxley, left WWE to sign with AEW:

"I actually thought it was gonna be weirder than it was, but maybe I just had my head buried in the sand about it. When Jon and I were at WWE together, it wasn't like we were this couple that was rammed down people's throats. When we walked through the door, we went in and did our separate jobs, and then we'd meet each other in the car after and make our way to the next town.

"So, I didn't think there would be any real effects because I figured I was valued for my own skill aside from him being there. I do think that I was, but once he left, it was, 'Are people gonna treat me different? Are people gonna start being weird towards me?' I really didn't feel that way, and I don't know if it was more like a slow burn of feeling that happen. It wasn't an overnight thing, and it might have been nothing."

Moxley wrestled as Dean Ambrose in WWE and was one of the company's most popular stars. He was one-third of The Shield and later went on to become WWE champion.

He played his cards close to the vest upon leaving WWE, but he made a surprise debut for AEW last year and has now been the reigning AEW World champion for more than 200 days.

It is unclear if Moxley's choice had any impact on Young, but Renee felt it was time to leave WWE regardless as she had accomplished essentially everything possible, including being the first full-time female member of the commentary team on Raw.

Young is a multitalented performer with the ability to thrive on any number of platforms, but with her husband being a top guy in AEW, there will always be speculation about Renee potentially showing up there at some point.

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