One top WWE superstar’s contract with the sports entertainment company is set to expire in the new few years.
That superstar is former WWE Champion AJ Styles. He was supposed to work Thursday’s WWE live event in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Styles made his name known while in TNA Wrestling, now known as Impact Wrestling, from 2002–2013. During his time with TNA, he was dubbed "Mr. TNA".While in TNA, Styles held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship three times and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship twice. Also, he was the first holder of the X Division Championship, a title he held six times.
Styles was the first professional wrestler ever to complete the TNA Triple Crown (five times) and the TNA Grand Slam (two times). Styles accomplishments continued from there. He appeared in Ring of Honor (ROH) from 2002–2006 where he became the first ROH Pure Champion. In 2014, Styles signed with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and won his first of two IWGP Heavyweight Championships in his debut match with the company.
Styles first appeared on WWE television in 2002 but turned down a developmental contract he was offered by the company. He signed a multi-year contract with WWE fourteen years later in January 2016 and made his re-debut at that month's Royal Rumble.
After appearing at his first WrestleMania that April against Chris Jericho, Styles headlined multiple pay-per-view events en route to winning the WWE Championship at Backlash in September. He held the title up until 2017's Royal Rumble in January. Also in 2016. Styles has also won the United States Championship twice.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that Styles' current WWE contract will be expiring in early 2019. During a recent interview with 97.9 The Box in Houston, TX to promote WWE Survivor Series, Styles hinted at possibly retiring in a “couple years.”
Styles turned 40 years old last June. If he plans on retiring at 42 years old, his next WWE contract expiration would likely occur before he turns 42 in June of 2019.
It's possible that Styles could re-sign and work a lighter schedule when his current WWE contract expires. On the flip side, Styles could always change his mind and decide to keep his full-time in-ring career going longer if he wants.
Styles discussed his wrestling style during the appearance. Here is what he had to say:
"The older you get, the less energy you have to maintain it!" Styles said. "It is what it is, but if you still have that drive and you can still do it, why not? Get in the gym and get it done, and look good in the meantime."
"Work hard now, you enjoy it later," Styles said. "In a couple of years, I'll be able to catch every football game, every baseball game, every basketball game, cheerleading, gymnastics, whatever they're in."
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