AJ Styles Talks About Turning Down WWE Job Offer, Working In WCW, TNA Days

Vince Russo sent along the following …

Vince Russo interviewed AJ Styles on the October 21st edition of “The Swerve” podcast from his website www.pyroandballyhoo.com. The interview can be found here:


Vince said he has known AJ since TNA’s inception in 2002 when AJ was 25 and now AJ is 37. Vince has not spoken to AJ since leaving TNA in February 2012.

Prior to the interview, Vince said he had one heated argument with AJ when working with TNA and Vince used the F-bomb on AJ. Vince also tells a story of AJ’s brother committing suicide during the early years of TNA and how AJ was so distraught. Vince put over Road Dogg for really being the person there for AJ. Vince said that he and AJ were close enough that both, them and their wives, went to the same church together.

Vince says AJ went through the wrestling business and never changed, always putting God first and family second. He added that AJ never got caught up in the politics or said a cross word about anybody. Vince said he himself would lose his temper, but AJ wouldn’t. Same with Sting.

The Interview:

When introducing AJ, Vince says AJ’s Wikipedia page goes on for miles and miles as if AJ was a 30 year old veteran. AJ said he had a new daughter earlier this month.

Vince asks AJ after three sons, how do you handle a daughter? AJ joked that he didn’t know how to change her diaper. Vince notes that AJ’s tattoo in his ribcage refers to his sons. His daughter’s name is Anney. Sons were Ajay and Avery, so the daughter’s name was spelled that way.

Vince asks about AJ’s childhood: family was poor, father was abusive. Vince asks if God was a part of his life during childhood. AJ always believed in God and prayed at an early age. AJ did go to church and bible schools as a kid.

Vince asks about AJ going to college in South Carolina. AJ considered playing football in Georgia. He then had a scholarship to wrestle in a Christian school.

After AJ took his first bump in the ring, he said he knew he could do be a wrestler. Vince brings up WCW in 2001 when AJ teamed up with Air Paris. Vince asks if it was difficult to keep the style of wrestling during that time.

After WCW was sold, AJ wasn’t offered a developmental deal with WWE immediately. AJ had to go back to NWA Wildside. AJ said he wasn’t pleased at first about not being signed with WWE. AJ talks about meeting Christopher Daniels and how great his chemistry was with him.

Vince asks about marriage with Wendy after being successful working the independent scene: leaving home often and there’s nothing there concrete in regards to pay. AJ says he was gone every weekend. AJ says his first trip out of the country was in Australia for World Wrestling Allstars and that he and his wife were arguing for a bit. AJ said eventually arguments disappeared as they just needed time to get used to it.

Vince brings up Daniels. Was it just wrestling or was there something more that connected the two? AJ said he and Daniels were pretty much married when they worked together for a good two years straight. AJ said he and Daniels are great friends.

Vince says Daniels hates him and he’ll do his best to get Daniels on his podcast and wanted AJ to help him out.

AJ’s developmental deal offer with WWE: there was a tryout with Sonny Siaki, Desire, Jorge Estrada. After, WWE offers AJ $500 to move to Cincinnati for a developmental deal. AJ’s wife was in college at the time with aspirations to be a teacher. That was the reason AJ called Johnny Ace to tell him he could not take the deal.

AJ said it was a blessing because TNA started three months later and he ended up being with TNA for eleven years. AJ said he still had a regular job at that time and on weekends he made good money with Ring Of Honor.

Vince said during that time, Jeremy Borash would put AJ over a lot. AJ said Borash and Bob Ryder were the reason he got a tryout with WCW. For TNA, AJ was introduced by Jeff Jarrett at World Wrestling Allstars. He did a tryout in Nashville with David Young and that’s when he was offered a contract.

Vince cuts off this portion of this interview and says they will finish the rest on the VIP video portion, which is an additional 75 minutes with AJ Styles and goes through the rest of his wrestling career.

Vince talks about the heat he gets from people for reasons he doesn’t get. He was concerned that AJ wouldn’t do the interview so he went through Bill Behrens. Vince says he is grateful for AJ doing the interview. AJ says apparently Vince never read any of his interviews because he has never said anything bad about Vince. AJ says “Believe me, people wanted me to say bad things about you”.

Vince says Stevie Richards is up next week. Donna Loren, who was part of the original Batman ’60s show is up the following. RD Reynolds, co-author of WrestleCrap & The Death Of WCW, is up the week after that.

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